Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood confirmed the raids but declined to give further details. According to Kiro 7 News, targeted dispensaries included Tacoma Cross on Pacific Avenue, Seattle Cross on East John Street and Bayside Gardens in Lacey.
“A client of mine who was talking to a D.E.A agent was told that there were going to be 18 places raided today up and down the corridor,” said Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt.
Personal cell phones were confiscated during the raid at Bayside Gardens according to Bayside employee Addy Norton, who has now been ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in September.
“We are still open! We may not have meds at the moment but we are still open! They will not keep us down! Thank You everyone for ALL of you support and love. We have no Meds, but we still have our dignity and we aren’t going anywhere,” said a post on the Facebook Page of Bayside Gardens.
“These storefronts are in violation of state and federal law… We will send out additional letters as we identify locations. This action is part of on-going comprehensive strategy to combat drug trafficking in coordination with five judicial districts in our area of responsibility,” Underwood said earlier this year after sending out over 41 warning letters to marijuana dispensaries in Seattle.
Despite the recent legalization of adult possession of up to an ounce of recreational marijuana in Washington and legalization of the sale of medical marijuana in 1998, the Obama administration has continued to threaten and harass the state, claiming that federal law trumps state’s rights under the 10th amendment.
In an interview with Canadian news magazine Maclean’s last February, Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, stated that the federal government would ignore legalization and go after both states.
“You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined,” said Kerlikowske.
Despite the promises of presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, the administration has gone on to raid over four times as many marijuana dispensaries as Bush, in half the time.