California is known for its open stance on medicinal marijuana. Throughout the state, medical marijuana dispensaries function openly and in full view of the public. The openness of the trade stems from the fact that California legalized the sale of medical marijuana years ago, despite opposition from the federal government.
Though the policy has met resistance from some resistance, no one anticipated that one of the most reputable dispensaries in Sacramento would be targeted for drug trafficking by federal law enforcement agencies.
The Sacramento medicinal marijuana dispensary in question has had a reputation for openness and transparency, as well as for operating within the guidelines established by the state Office of the Attorney General and City of Sacramento, according to the local branch of Americans for Safe Access, a strong advocate for the medicinal marijuana policy.
Despite the facility's good reputation, the Drug Enforcement Agency recently raided the Sacramento dispensary in an astonishing show of force, and to the surprise of many local residents living near the facility. According to neighbors of the facility, the raid occurred at the Sacramento facility earlier this month.
In addition to targeting the dispensary location itself, reports indicate that federal agents also raided the homes of the executive directors of the marijuana dispensary. While the raid came as a surprise to many in the community, this particular establishment was one of a number of medical marijuana dispensaries targeted by the U.S. Attorney last year for illegal trafficking.
A spokeswoman for the DEA did confirm that the raids occurred, but she would not offer any further comment because the warrant has been sealed. In addition to targeting the dispensaries themselves, the U.S. Attorney also sent letters to the landlords of 16 additional dispensaries, threatening them with the loss of property if they continued to allow the shops to operate.
The nature of the state's laws, as they relate to federal drug laws, which are exceptionally strict, puts those facing trafficking charges in a very peculiar position. They have been able to conduct business with state regulation, but are now facing the possibility of very serious drug-related felonies for distribution. The hope is that the conflicting state and federal policies will be resolved, so those targeted by the federal investigation resolve their cases as soon as possible.
Source: ABC News Sacramento, "Feds raid major Sacramento pot dispensary," George Warren, June 11, 2012