Suspected South Shore pot dispensary shut down

January 25, 2009

Adam Jensen, Sierra Sun

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — At about 11 a.m., five agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency — joined by members of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the South Lake Tahoe-El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the South Lake Tahoe Police — served a federal search warrant on Patient to Patient Collective at 2314 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Agents seized between five and 10 pounds of processed marijuana and a “small amount” of U.S. currency from the collective, DEA Special Agent Gordon Taylor said.

Police made no arrests on Thursday.

Taylor declined to comment on additional details of the raid, saying Patient to Patient Collective is part of an ongoing investigation.

The search warrant was posted inside the front door of the collective on Friday morning, and three men appeared to be loading items from the collective into a trailer by the afternoon.

A manager at the collective — who identified himself only as Matt — blamed the raid on a Dec. 30 Tribune cover story on the business, but declined to comment further.

Matt previously told the Tribune that the collective was distributing marijuana to medical patients, and that at least 30 patients had signed up for the collective since it opened in the first week of December.

Thursday’s raid was “unconscionable,” said Caren Woodson, director of governmental affairs for Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group.

“We are hopeful that these are the last remnants of the Bush regime, and that President Obama will quickly develop a more compassionate policy toward our most vulnerable citizens,” Woodson said in a statement.

Obama has made “repeated promises” to end federal raids in medical marijuana states, according to the statement.

A message left with Obama’s press office was not immediately returned on Friday.
Although the DEA took the lead in Thursday’ raid, the collective also faced a conflict with city code, said South Lake Tahoe Police Lt. Marty Hale.

The business license for the collective — issued under the name Holistic Solutions — was “null and void” because of city code section 32-2, Hale said.

“No use that is illegal under local, state or federal law shall be allowed within the city of South Lake Tahoe,” city code states.

SLEDNET had received “a lot” of complaints about the collective from South Shore residents, said Task Force Cmdr. Jeff Catchings, but the enforcement team was not investigating the collective for any violation of state law at the time of the raid.

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