DEA raids marijuana dispensaries in Puget Sound region

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

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Federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency raided medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Gig Harbor Wednesday.

 "It hurts me a lot. This is really hard. This is my life," said a tearful Addy Norton, who works at Olympia's Bayside Collective.

Norton told KIRO 7 the DEA agents arrived at the dispensary about 10:30 a.m.,  saying, "five guys stuck their guns in my face."

 Dispensary owner Casey Lee said the feds took 16 marijuana plants off the shelves along with edible marijuana products, the employees’ cellphones and paperwork.

Lee says it's very disturbing, since he believes he is operating legally under Washington state law.

"I kept saying, ‘We don't feel like we've done anything wrong. Why are you guys here?’ And they said, ‘Well, you guys are state legal, but you are still not federally legal,’ that’s all they could tell me,” said Lee.

The DEA agents told the owner the raid of several dispensaries in Washington was part of a two-year investigation, although they would not discuss details of what they call an ongoing investigation.

Norton says when the feds left the Olympia dispensary she posted a video warning to other dispensaries on Facebook.

Norton's message said in part, "Bayside was just raided and we're not sure if they are going out to the other collectives, but we are just letting you know we were raided we are fine and not in jail."

DEA agents did also raid the Tacoma Cross, Seattle Cross and Key Cross (in Gig Harbor)  dispensaries as well. 

 Both the owner and employees at the Bayside Collective say this raid shows the urgent need for federal and state governments to clarify the marijuana laws immediately.

"This effects everybody -- it effects our family at home. I mean, this doesn't just effect the state and the feds, it effects all of us,” said Norton.

 Owner Lee concurs.

 "They obviously need to figure something out because they are ruining innocent lives."

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