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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 |
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

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