US Marijuana Party

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Agents make 'visits' to medical pot shops

Marijuana seized, warnings given; nobody arrested

By Jeff McDonald
San Diego Union Tribune

Federal agents paid “courtesy visits” to nine or 10 San Diego medical marijuana dispensaries yesterday, warning operators that they consider the shops illegal.

No arrests were made, although agents seized an undetermined amount of marijuana. Agents made it clear that the government will no longer tolerate retail storefronts selling pot.

“Those dispensaries are operating in violation of state and federal law,” said Dan Simmons, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent. “These were courtesy visits to remind the dispensaries that are still open that they're operating illegally.”

Medical marijuana activists painted a different picture of what happened.

According to Steph Sherer, executive director of the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, drug agents barged into the dispensaries and threatened to arrest employees and patients before seizing whatever marijuana they could find.

“They're basically going in and taking everything,” Sherer said. “They said, 'Shut down or we're going to come back and arrest you.' ”


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