DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
December 11, 2005
Authorities swooped down on locations where pot is sold in violation of federal law, which is at odds with state law.
Federal law supercedes state law, and the debate over using marijuana to combat pain has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ten states allow it, including California, but the high court ruled this summer that the government can prosecute seriously ill patients who smoke pot.
Monday's series of raids city-wide netted jars of marijuana and packages of hashish destined for sale to people suffering from cancer, AIDS and auto accidents.
Armed officers served warrants simultaneously at several storefronts in Ocean Beach.
The Purple Coconut on El Cajon Boulevard was hit, too. The net stretched from the beach community to the inner city.
"The message is clear -- marijuana is against the law. The DEA has an obligation (and) we take our role very seriously," said John Fernandes, with the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Patients and supporters of medical marijuana are up in arms and planning protests.
"Some people have cancer -- (it's) not fair when all we want to do is get help," said medical marijuana user Cole, who didn't give his full name.
"At least we now know what we're up against, and we can get on with solving problems of not being able to access medicine under federal law," said Barbara MacKenzie.
A total of 14 locations were raided Monday accross the county. Plants, processed marijuana and financial records were seized.