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DEA’s latest medical pot raids similiar to those in 2011

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SEATTLE — Federal authorities said Thursday the DEA’s raids on four medical marijuana dispensaries in the area on Wednesday were similar to what occurred in 2011.

pot1Even though Washington voters have made pot legal in the state, the owner of one of the dispensaries raided on Wednesday said a DEA agent told him that didn’t matter.

“They said it’s still illegal federally,” said Casey Lee, owner of Bayside Collective in Olympia. “That’s pretty much all they told us.”

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkin characterized the 2011 raids as being aimed at pot shops that were selling drugs to out-of-state gangs and laundering money.

“Our target investigations had nothing to do with sick people and medicine,” said Durkin at the time. “It truly targeted individuals who were exploiting the laws.”

Lee insists his dispensary has done everything by the book, and by the law in Washington state, and he vowed to reopen.

“Staying strong is what we need to do to show the patients that we can make it through this.”

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