Wait ... WTF?
In a now-familiar scenario in the Great State up in The Northwest Corner of The Nation, federal agents last week swooped into a bunch of medical cannabis outlets and robbed the places blind. The agents pulled into the parking lots, leapt from their vehicles with guns drawn, and made sure no patients would be helped by these places in the foreseeable future. They confiscated a bunch of cannabis, a few cellphones and a little bit of pride and enthusiasm.
They apparently arrested no one.
That state up there in the corner, for the map-challenged among you, is Washington. Yes, Washington—where voters proudly and boldly made recreational cannabis legal under state law last November. But the federal government, the Supreme Leader of which has stated he would not interfere with folks operating within state law, isn't hearing that.
The collectives are allowed under state law, and no state or local police or other agencies were involved in the raids across Washington. In the wake of the raids, a handful of other collectives closed, according to the Bellingham Herald (bellinghamherald.com/2013/07/24/3109856/bayside-collective-other-puget.html). It seems the federal message is getting through—dontcha be sellin' cannabis, or we'll come calling.
Interestingly, the raids came just weeks after the Washington State Liquor Control Board issued draft rules for the recreational cannabis system. The tightly controlled system will be similar to the state's liquor system, which until last year was state-run. The now privately owned liquor stores in Washington are highly regulated on every front, just the way the cannabis stores will be.
Sometimes I think these raids happen because federal investigators are lazy. This is a big ol' nation we have here. There are 31 states where cannabis is illegal. Period. States where every single cannabis transaction, however harmless and innocent it may be, is against the law. Medical cannabis is an easy target for the Holder Brigade. Dispensaries operate in the open, not even trying to hide, because they aren't doing anything wrong. It's a lot easier to walk into an open store and harass the owners than it is to worm your way into a pot dealer's living room.
So the slugs take the path of least resistance, picking the low-hanging fruit and pestering the little guys while major drug cartels operate in every state in the nation. They know they can look good with almost no risk, because the medical cannabis crowd isn't going to shoot at them. Drug cartels might.
And the Washington raids came just a day after New Hampshire became the 19th medical cannabis state when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed her state's new law. It's a tough cannabis law, however, not allowing patients to grow and requiring a recommendation from a doctor with at least a 90-day relationship with the patient. Nonetheless, it's so overwhelmingly clear the cannabis tide is against the feds that I'm getting tired of saying it.
The states are piling up against you, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the raids on cannabis shops are starting to make you look like a bully.
The nation's top dog lawyer, however, seems to be sticking to his president's word, regardless of the hue and cry. Mr. Obama has said he doesn't consider it wise to waste resources prosecuting medical cannabis purveyors working within state law. Well, they aren't wasting much at all. Very few arrests have been made at these federal raids, so no money is being wasted on prosecutions. They're just wasting resources on pure harassment and theft. Shame on you, Mr. Holder.