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Cops search marijuana dispensaries in Pierce, Thurston counties

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Nov. 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm with 36 Comments »
November 15, 2011 1:57 pm

Law enforcement officers in Pierce, Thurston and King counties are serving search warrants today on a number of marijuana dispensaries as part of a coordinated region-wide effort.

Five dispensaries were targeted in Thurston County and five in Pierce County, law enforcement officials reported. So far, no arrests have been reported from the searches in Pierce and Thurston counties.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said operators and employees of the dispensaries are being detained and questioned. He added that police are not targeting medical patients with legitimate “green cards,” because they are legally purchasing marijuana.

“A vast majority are legitimately seeking out marijuana for their medical conditions,” he said.

The warrants targeted locations that are suspected of not complying with state law on medical marijuana, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

“The places we hit are not compliant with state law so we initiated enforcement,” he said. “There are facilities and people that are in compliance with the law that we did not hit.”

The busts in Thurston County were the culmination of a five-month investigation by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Torce, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol, Elwin said. As of about noon, no marijuana had been seized from the dispensaries.

The Thurston County investigators hit two locations in Olympia, two in Lacey and one in Rochester. Pierce County investigators served warrants at locations in west of Puyallup, in the Parkland area, Graham and Summit.

Elwin said one of the goals of the investigation is be to determine where the dispensaries are getting their marijuana.

“How did it get here, and where did it come from,” Elwin said.

Staff writer Jeremy Pawloski contributed to this report

Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. buttmanroad says:

    Just Legalize the stuff and move on to something important.

  2. 65% of Tacoma voters would like our local law enforcement to have different priorities.

  3. Also, if it were legal we would know how it got there and where it came from.

  4. itwasntmethistime says:

    Lock ‘em all up and throw away the key.

  5. nosugarcoating says:

    this waste of valuable police energy and tax payers money was brought to you by ignorant citizens such as you itwasntmethistime.

    It’s an herb for christ’s sake. Worry about something serious will ya?!

  6. jimkingjr says:

    jenyum- you might notice that these activities are taking place outside of Tacoma- you might also notice that even inside Tacoma, the proposition did not say ignore dealing. Dispensaries operating outside the law are fair game.

  7. At a time when all governments are facing huge budgetary challenges, and costs associated with police and fire are going through the roof, this is where the money is being spent? Who exactly does this protect?

  8. jimkingjr I did notice that. However, it’s not a game, fair or not, it’s our public funds being used to harass people who are selling a substance incapable of causing deadly overdose, to medical patients.

  9. Hearing from people within the medical marijuana community that dispensaries in Tacoma are also being targeted today.

  10. retrostryker says:

    Sure could have used some of those cops to get rid of the tweekers across the streeet. Meth is the dope that you want to spend time and money to eradicate. Leave the stoners alone.

  11. gumpa_38 says:

    I don’t know why they don’t just make it legal so the police don’t have to chase their tails and the state can tax it for more income.

  12. surething says:

    Legalize and tax it.

  13. saywhat253 says:

    im going back in hiding the feds are in town

  14. slugoxyz says:

    Legalize it. By all means. But until you do (and efforts have failed thus far) the law is the law. You don’t get to tell the cops what crimes to enforce and which ones to ignore. If it’s a legal dispensary, leave them be. If it’s not above board, close them down and arrest them for dealing dope. Enforce meth but don’t enforce marijuana? Why this one but not that one? That’s like saying, cite the red light runners but not the speeders. I get sick of people saying that pot is harmless. If you were just dumb, I’d be all right with that statement (after all, being dumb is not your fault) but you are conniving since you know better. It has a long list of side effects both short term and long term. But you call it an “herb”? Next thing you’ll say is that it is not addicting. Tell that to all the rehab facilities that treat marijuana addiction. I get your ulterior motive. I really do. But be honest. You’re tired of your perception of wasted public funds? Really?

    And Jenyum? You’re right. It’s not a game. It’s a crime. And that means it’s the cops’ job to enforce the law. They don’t make the laws. Legislature makes the laws. Cops just enforce them. All of them. “Medical patients”? Ho hum. I recently read an article about the farcical nature of prescriptions being handed out for “chronic pain”. We’re not talking about the plight of cancer patients or people with serious issues. We’re talking about somebody with some back pain. Take an aspirin for goodness sake. You’ve got a bunch of dope heads ruining a good law for those who are really in need. Either police yourselves or stop complaining about the cops doing their jobs.

  15. tacomajoe says:

    Gutless – pretend the really dangerous criminals don’t exist, bust the sick and terminally ill. Never mind that the citizens handed down a mandate last week to cool it with this cowardly waste of tax money. Lazy and gutless, that’s all this is.

  16. brett987654321 says:

    Wow! We are releasing dangerous mentally ill people into society because we don’t have enough money but we somehow do have money to harass Medical marijuana dispensaries? No one was even arrested? How many millions of dollars was wasted on this investigation? What is wrong with us?

  17. According to KING, the Pierce County raids were conducted entirely by the DEA. While I still consider it a waste of public funds, at least we know those funds are federal.

  18. Hopefully someone doesn’t get robbed….The police are busy doing something else.

  19. It is NOT legal so why not set an example for our youngsters and follow the dang rules. If the rules/laws were followed, we wouldn’t have to spend the money having the police do what they are doing now. DUH

  20. stumpy567 says:

    Seems we have a bit of a dilemma here. According to one agency it’s perfectly legal but for another it’s not.
    Our government at it’s best.
    Remember when the ATF would raid the tribal smoke shops?
    Same thing here. Just wasting time and money.
    Some time in the near future pot will be legal and taxed.
    Hey, maybe the state can get in the business of distributing it in it’s own stores. (In place of the Liquor Stores)

  21. Their best not be ANY arrests in Tacoma after the imitative overwhelmingly passed. I’m tired of the ISA police feeling they’re above the law.

  22. datfigga says:

    well it’s the ‘legal’ drugs that are the most dangerous. if you drink enough alcohol in your life your body gets to a point that it can not function without it. ‘Oh, let me take a sleeping pill to rest’. those are benzo’s another drug that is prescribed and very addictive. how do you cure alcohol withdrawls? pills! if the concern is really for children and safety alcohol and nicotine would be illegal(very addictive). i’ve never heard of the body going into shock from weed withdrawl. the drug dealers are the ones with the commercials on during the middle of the day. the drug pushers are the ones who voted to put alcohol in anybody’s hands. i pay personal and business taxes, now herb is not something i am into, but i do know that it is not as dangerous as some previously mentioned substances, i would love to see the cops quit wasting money and manpower on this and focus on real crime.

  23. m9078jk3 says:

    I think that they (The D.E.A.) are specifically targeting the medical marijuana dispensaries that are fronts for conspiratorial profiteering (racketeering) of illegal marijuana sales and abusing the system for personal gain like the Commission (Mafia) did.There is a lot of money involved here and greedy people (usually business types) are naturally going to abuse it for large scale illicit gains.
    None the less Federal Law supersedes all state and local laws (negates them absolutely).I’ll stick to just drinking coffee myself.

  24. How much money and time is wasted on this. court cost, police pay, time, gas, vehicles etc… . Nice to see how the money is spend during budget short falls.

  25. trekontenner says:

    I’m not saying anything one way or the other. Big Brother is watching, and he’s got lots of cuzzins in Pierce County.

  26. Trasher74 says:

    I may be wrong, but I think the sales are already taxed (sales tax) at the dispensaries. And if it is, I find it ironic that the state is taxing a product that it doesn’t support. City laws, county laws, state laws, & federal laws. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. But certainly there are more important things to spend our limited resources on than a few dispensaries.

  27. notSpicoli says:

    Fortunately we have a choice. New Approach Washington is sponsoring I-502 and has already gathered over 200,000 signatures and raised a million dollars to regulate and tax marijuana sales in our state. The initiative will be sent to the legislature and then on to the voters in 2012 if they decline to pass it.

    Though it does not impact the state’s medical marijuana bill, I-502 will provide safe affordable access to cannabis grown locally by licensed, private growers and sold in privately owned and operated, state licensed and regulated shops. Adults 21 and older could purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana. I-502 will generate 215 million dollars in the first year in currently untaxed revenue and save millions in enforcement costs.

    I-502 is not a pro-marijuana bill. It recognizes that marijuana is used daily by millions of citizens and that marijuana prohibition has failed. It is a harm reduction strategy that admits that the policy of marijuana prohibition is far worse–and presents a greater threat to public safety–than marijuana itself.

    The 10 sponsors of I-502 include a current court officer (Seattle Prosecutor Peter Holmes), a law professor and former federal prosecutor (John McKay), an ACLU lawyer specializing in drug policy, and the past 2 presidents of the Washington Bar Association. They, along with the other 5 sponsors (including 2 physicians and a chemical dependency expert), provide compelling reasons from their professional vantage for leading this movement to reform the marijuana laws in our state. The Democratic Party has now endorsed I-502.

    The New Approach Washington website has more information on the plan to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in the sate of Washington.

  28. Fukashimasurvivor says:

    I also suffer from chronic pain!

  29. fivecardstud says:

    With all the crime going on and the budget shortfalls they are going after potheads. Now you know why they keep asking for more money every yr. They need to go after the real criminals. Oh but wait, they shoot back don’t they? Then might as well just take all the low level, non violent criminals and maybe the bad guys will go away on their own.

  30. kurtisballard says:

    This just in: Prohibition doesn’t work (like, at all), and if you support it, you’re also supporting organized crime.

  31. malcolmkyle says:

    Prohibition is actually an authoritarian war on the economy, the Constitution and every civic institution of our once great and free nation.

    It’s all about the market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant! As long as there is demand for any mind altering substance, there will be supply; the end! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up, increase the costs and profits, and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

    The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances no more harmful than similar things that are perfectly legal like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible damage it does.

    Afghani farmers produce approx. 93% of the world’s opium which is then, mostly, refined into street heroin then smuggled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.

    Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of this very easily grown crop; Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.


    Prohibition provides America’s sworn enemies with financial “aid” and tactical “comforts”. The Constitution of the United States of America defines treason as:
    “Article III / Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

    Support for prohibition is therefore an act of treason against the Constitution, and a dire threat to our nation’s civic institutions. Each day we remain silent, we help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of our own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s Inquisition or Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction.

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation – Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

  32. SkeleTony says:


    First of all, you are (partially) correct that marijuana is not harmless. It DOES cause brain damage and can lead to lung cancer etc.

    However, you are wrong about a number of things. It is absolutely NOT addicting and anyone claiming to treat “marijuana addiction” is selling snake oil to you.

    Also we DO get to tell the police which crimes to prioritize and how much. The police and legislators work for US and when we pass initiatives to say that police should treat marijuana the way they treat jaywalking, it is for good reason and they should be doing as we tell them. Of course this does not apply to the federal enforcers(DEA) so much until we wake up and legalize or decriminalize pot at the federal level(something the majority of Americans, Liberal and Conservative now agree on) we will have to deal with this stupidity and cowardice of raiding dispensaries and such.

    As for medical marijuana being used for pain and your advice to “take an aspirin or something!”, you obviously do not know much about this issue. While it is true that a lot of people are getting prescriptions when they do not truly need them and just want to smoke pot, there are many of us for whom aspirin is not effective but marijuana IS. Pot is a different type of pain reliever and works much better for many(most?) people depending on the specific (chronic)pains they are dealing with.

  33. slugoxyz says:

    See about the addictive qualities of prolonged marijuana use. Apparently the National Institute on Drug Abuse has some snake oil to sell you. There’s some good reading about other effects as well.
    And much as you’d like to, you do NOT get to tell the police which crimes to enforce and which ones to ignore. While it is true, the police are paid with your tax dollars and are in place to serve and protect you, that does not mean you get to tell them HOW to enforce the law. Much like a politician in this here Republic. You elect them to do the governing for you. Not a Democracy where you would have an actual voice in the law making. Now that the Political Science lesson is over… Most cops do not arrest people merely for possession. Most possession charges are the result of a search subject to arrest so the law enforcement cost to enforce prohibition is not as much as the posters are saying. Dealers and growers are targeted because what they’re doing is a felony. You can pass all the initiatives you want but until the law is changed, the police are paid to enforce the law. By all means, change it. I think most cops would be relieved. But until you do…
    Furthermore, the ridiculous language used here only proves either the ill effects of prolonged marijuana use or the stunning lack of IQ. Prohibition is treason? Cowardice for raiding illegal dispensaries? Cowardice? Is that the word you choose? Silly. There is no debating someone who uses this kind of language and misguided philosophy.
    I know plenty about pain. I left the military with 80% disability and wake with pain each and every day. I have a running prescription of stronger pain relievers but don’t take them because they may mask the symptoms of other issues. So, I take some aspirin, maybe a little acetaminophen or other over the counter pain relievers. If you have a legitimate prescription for pot, by all means, use it. I don’t care.

    And NotSpicoli, well written. Much better than usual. I even called you by your preferred name. How’s that?

  34. anomoly253 says:

    i hate to say it but i agree with the police, not all the “collective’s” got raided, people can still get medicine, just not at the places buying ten pounds from california. how did it get there??? are they serious?? lmao.

  35. anomoly253 says:

    and btw i just love all your non-sensical comments on modern medicine, who leaves these comments lol! pure comedy.

  36. justridin says:

    Bob Dylan sings it best…..everybody must get stoned!

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