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Dea Raids In Washington Show Weakness Of Medical Marijuana Law


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No coverage: The DEA raided several medical pot dispensaries - which aren't covered under Initiative 502 - this July.



Last week’s raids of a handful of medical cannabis dispensaries in Washington highlight the limits of state medical marijuana law and the priorities of the federal




DEA agents raided medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Gig Harbor July 24, including Olympia’s Bayside Collective, as well as the Tacoma Cross, Seattle Cross and Key Cross (in Gig Harbor)  dispensaries as well. 

Washington medical marijuana lawnever specifically legalized storefront sales, and MMJ dispensaries have been operating in a grey area for years — tolerated in parts of Seattle, pariahs in the eastern part of the country.

Advocacy group Americans for Safe Access notes:

In 1998, Washington voters approved state Initiative Measure No. 692, allowing a qualifying patient or designated provider to have a 60-day supply of medical cannabis, defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants. Qualifying patients and caregivers within those limits are protected from arrest and prosecution; a patient who exceeds those limits is entitled to an affirmative defense of medical necessity. Designated providers must be 18 years of age or older. It is not legal to buy or sell cannabis if you are a patient or provider. Dispensaries are not permitted under Washington law,

Washington Initiative 502 explicitly legalized over-the-counter sales to adults 21 and over in 2012. The first of dozens of state-licensed stores are open, with many more to come. But it says nothing about the medical marijuana industry.

Meanwhile, new federal guidelines call for a hands-off approach to state-regulated recreational stores, but continued raids on unregulated parts of the industry.

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