Posted by kristen
Drug Enforcement Agents executed warrants on fifteen medical cannabis access points across the state of Washington last week. US Attorney Jenny Durkan alleges that the access points were using the state law to conceal criminal activity and money laundering; however, this is only true so long as medical cannabis is illegal on a federal level. Because of this there will always be room to charge those participating in civil disobedience with illegal activity. During an interview, Durkan joked, “There’s always more crime than time.” This statement is indicative of the Department’s mis-prioritized agenda because they chose to pursue the easiest target: a legal state sanctioned medical cannabis dispensary operating above ground to provide for patients in need.
Earlier this year, Governor Christine Gregoire vetoed several provisions of a bill that would have legitimized these access points across the state, bowing to the threats of the Federal Government and US Attorneys. Despite the fact that access continues to be compromised without the operating of legal distribution centers, the Governor and US Attorney claim that patients are being left alone in this battle: “We will not prosecute truly ill people or their doctors who determine that marijuana is an appropriate medical treatment”. While the state of Washington is not blatantly arresting and prosecuting patients, it is pursuing them in a much more passive manner by cutting off the access these patients desperately need. It is hypocritical to say that you support the right to access and use of cannabis by certain qualifying people, but then limit the means by which they acquire it.
Seattle recognized the necessity of cannabis distribution centers, and took the necessary steps to pass a local ordinance providing a regulatory scheme for dispensaries to exist in the locality. If Washington is truly committed to ensuring that safe and legal access is available to all patients in need, the more localities must follow in Seattle’s footsteps. Passing such ordinances is a necessary response to the most recent raids we have seen across the state. Click here to view our Washington Raid Response page to find out how you can take action!