Feds raid Oildale marijuana dispensary

April 30, 2007

, KGET TV 17 (Bakersfield)

BAKERSFIELD - A fight brewed Tuesday between Kern County medical marijuana users and federal agents.

This after a raid at a marijuana dispensary in Oildale, where agents collected 50 pounds of pot among other things.

Nature’s Medicinal Cooperative owner David Chavez said he was shocked and confused as armed federal agents raided his medical marijuana dispensary in Oildale and his southwest Bakersfield home. This after a 12-month DEA investigation.

“Can you imagine a child using that? You think they know difference between that and candy at 7-Eleven?” said Stephen Peterson, DEA. “I don't think so.”

State law protects medical marijuana dispensary operations, but federal guidelines said it’s against the law.

“I understand why they are offended,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “First you regulate us and then arrest us. It’s contradictory and I am aware of that.”

Medical marijuana patients came up one by one to Nature’s Medicinal Cooperative expecting to pick up a supply of pot, instead they walked away outraged.

“This is the only place I come to,” said Jessica Franco, medical marijuana user. “The other places I don't go to. I know people here and have friends here. I don't understand what’s going on. I'm kind of scared.”

Chavez wants to ensure his customers he’ll be back in business.

“As long as we have medical marijuana, we’re going to be open first thing tomorrow, if not this evening,” Chavez said.

DEA officials fired back, warning Chavez and other dispensary owners in Kern County:

“If they decide to re-open, we will investigate again and then do the same thing.”

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