Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: Medical Marijuana

July
25th

Is drug raid a federal declaration against legalized pot?

Following the results of last November’s vote to legalize marijuana in Washington State, there has been much speculation about the federal government’s response.

With marijuana still illegal on a national level, officials from Attorney General Holder on down have been quick to reaffirm federal authority. They have also been frustratingly silent on what actions, if any, the various government agencies might take.

If actions speak louder than words, however, it appears the silent treatment is over.

On Wednesday, federal agents raided three Western Washington medical marijuana dispensaries, including a downtown Tacoma storefront operation known as Tacoma Cross (

Read more »

Nov.
10th

Legalized marijuana has arrived, but will it last?

“A solid majority” is how the Trib’s most recent article (11/7) described the passage of I-502. For recreational pot aficionados, Tuesday’s election results provided much cause for celebration.

While some might be tempted to mark the occasion by sharing a bong among friends, I would suggest reading the aforementioned article first. It clearly outlines some of the new guidelines stipulated by I-502, beginning with the date of the new law’s enactment: Dec 6, 2012.

Also included are: the legal limits for personal use- one ounce for people 21 and over; the DUI limitations, a complex restriction that

Read more »

Oct.
14th

I-502 discussion important – and entertaining

Many local and national issues await our decision on November 6. One of those guaranteed to resonate on many levels is Initiative 502, the measure to legalize marijuana. Its controversial presence on the ballot may be the final lap for legalization- but what a long and strange trip it has been.

Forget about jobs and the economy; that bitter and acrimonious debate is as full of rhetoric as it is never-ending. For shocking surprises, surreal parallels and unholy relationships, no issue has more political drama than the pre-election flap over legalized pot.

If the road up to this point has

Read more »

Sep.
9th

Illegal dispensaries are a roadblock to legalization

Here’s the scenario: You are part of a grassroots movement trying to change a law you perceive as outdated, irrational and just plain wrong. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your goal is the legalization of marijuana. How do you go about it?

You begin by educating politicians, the media and the public on marijuana’s medicinal value, the potential increase in tax revenue resulting from its legalization, and the money that could be saved by not enforcing, trying and incarcerating those who use it.

You make some headway, and your timing is good. The one big hurdle standing in

Read more »

May
1st

Medical marijuana a hard sell to banks – an easy sell to recreational users

In the last couple of years dispensing medical mariajuana has moved out of dark alleys and into storefronts. As scientific research confirms its benefits, public perception appears to be warming up to the idea of cannabis as legitimate medication. In the near future this progress could lead to a stable industry that provides a secure source of a legitimate prescription medicine.

If only recreational pot users would stop sabotaging the program.

Medical marijuana remains a chaotic business model in large part because of the legalization advocates themselves. These folks  - who are vocal, if nothing else – loudly denounce the criminalization

Read more »

Jan.
8th

Current marijuana statute lacks clarity, adds danger

The woman was a mess. Because she was shaking and crying so hard, she was barely coherent enough to answer questions about the events of the last hour. And it had been a pretty nasty one.

As the details finally emerged, I learned that four armed men had entered her residence and threatened harm to the woman and her sleeping children. They took cash, property and, she added almost as an afterthought, her marijuana. Specifically, they had taken her medicinal marijuana grow operation, about fifteen plants in all. It soon became plain that the home invasion had occurred because the

Read more »

Oct.
2nd

Ease in obtaining marijuana “green cards” will hinder legalization

Advocates for medical marijuana have made great progress in the last few years.

Several states, including Washington, have taken varied steps towards legalizing medical cannabis, and public sentiment is not inclined to throw a wrench in the works.

But the actions of a growing number of pot heads could change that.

An investigative journalism piece by the Trib’s Rob Carson (10/2) shed some light on a growing phenomenon-  modern day carpetbaggers setting up marijuana permitting clinics in Tacoma. Medical credentials aside, the aim of these individuals and their storefronts is to churn out a high volume of marijuana permits whether or not their patients’ needs are legally valid.

Like dope dealers everywhere, these individuals are all about skirting the law in the name of profit.

Read more »

July
30th

When it comes to marijuana the feds have the final word

The old story, medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal, is the new story.  Or is it?

Lately, the debate on legalized marijuana is bearing a striking resemblance to the hokey-pokey. With state and local governments calling the dance, dispensers are taking their open signs in and then taking them back out on almost a weekly basis. It’s hard to keep track.

Seattle has chosen sides. After a city council resolution to minimize the priority of marijuana possession crimes, it comes as no surprise that the city appears to be welcoming medical marijuana merchants.

Tacoma, well, not so much. Mayor Strickland appears to be saying no in a recent Trib article, but the negative doesn’t seem to have much of a punch. At question is whether or not there will be any enforcement on the current dispensaries.

What, exactly, is going on? The roadblock, or the grease, depending upon your point of view, is the federal government.

Read more »