Five licensed Washington marijuana dispensaries were raided by the DEA in the same week. After watching the DEA agents take paperwork, cell phones and marijuana plants from his shop, one dispensary owner commented that he felt like he was robbed. Despite looming drug charges, the dispensary owners are attempting to restock their shelves and press forward.
Many of the dispensaries that were targeted by the DEA were also raided back in 2011. A continuation of a two-year investigation, the DEA raids raise many questions about the meaning of states' rights. Although Washington voters have approved legalizing marijuana for personal use, the Federal Government has not. With all of their paperwork, licensing and taxes in order, marijuana dispensary owners are confused about what laws they are breaking.
With disagreements between the state and federal government, the legal status of marijuana dispensaries is still unclear. Unaware of the possibility of federal charges for marijuana, many Washington residents are unprepared when faced with drug charges. Not just a slap on the wrist, criminal charges for marijuana possession and distribution can come with serious consequences. If the DEA raids a marijuana dispensary, it may be a good idea for the owners to seek the help of a lawyer.
Regardless of state laws, dispensary owners can be charged with drug crimes and sent to prison by the Federal Government. Hiring an experienced attorney may prevent dispensary owners from receiving harsh sentences. When defending against drug charges, an attorney could analyze every aspect of the charges in order to have them reduced or dismissed. An attorney may also argue against the illegal search and seizure of the property and file motions to have it returned.
Source: The Inquisitr, "DEA Raids Legal Pot Dispensaries In Seattle", July 26, 2013
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