Some marijuana proponents are excited by evolving views on cannabis in Washington.
Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder implemented more lax sentencing guidelines for small-time drug crimes, President Obama's nominee to be the nation's top civil rights cop, Vanita Gupta, is a legalization proponent, and Obama himself has said he doesn't think pot is more dangerous than alcohol.
But the the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration still seems to view medical marijuana businesses as illegal drug operations. And this week it raided a pair of well-known L.A. area dispensaries, the Farmacy shops in West Hollywood and Westwood.
Vijay Rathi of the DEA confirmed that a search warrant was served at the West Hollywood store (8208 Santa Monica Blvd.) yesterday. No other details were available.
A West Hollywood sheriff's sergeant also confirmed the raid, saying that it was over by noon.
The organization Americans for Safe Access said on its Facebook page that the Farmacy in Westwood (1001 Gayley Ave.) was also raided yesterday. We reached out to the Farmacy in WeHo but could not reach anyone.
Despite being upheld as a city that has done dispensary regulation right by limiting the number of shops in town to four (L.A. has nearly 1,000 registered), West Hollywood has been the subject of multiple dispensary raids by federal authorities.
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In fact, nearly all of the town's otherwise permitted stores have had their doors breached by the DEA. Last year Zen Healing and Alternative Herbal Health Services were raided.
In a statement, the DEA alleged those two business were part of ...
... an organized criminal enterprise involving large-scale marijuana distribution, not only in the Los Angeles area, but throughout the United States. This criminal enterprise hired known gang members as enforcers. This organization was involved in the operation of multiple retail marijuana dispensaries generating massive profits, repeatedly showing their willingness to use violence and intimidation to expand their operations and dissuade competition.
If the Obama administration is changing its views on marijuana, the DEA didn't seem to get the memo.
Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.