This raid is one that has left its victims stoned.
Federal agents of Los Angeles' Drug Enforcement Administration raided eleven medical marijuana producing establishments Wednesday. The raids are the biggest raids to ever be reported in the county, with agents seizing more than 5000 pounds of pot (marijuana), as well as pot-laced food such as ice cream and chocolate bars.
According to the pot retailers, which include marijuana medical clinic owners, the move is unpardonable as they claim the legality of their business.
Says Calvin Fyre a retailer," You just don't walk out of here with weed. You walk out of here with the knowledge of what you're using this for," he said, noting some strains of the plant target depression, chronic pain and other ailments.
Under a 1996 state ballot measure, the clinics can distribute doctor-prescribed marijuana, and cannabis advocacy groups abound in West Hollywood. But federal officials consider all marijuana use illegal.
The police claim that these clinics are attracting anti-social elements and promoting crime, as some of the retailers themselves are not honest. They claim to have seen distribution of fliers promoting these clinics even in schools, among teenage students.
"A lot of people are involved in some pretty major criminal activity, and they're using state law to traffic in drugs," said Sarah Pullen, spokeswoman for the DEA's Los Angeles office.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton called for a moratorium on the clinics. The officer is backing a proposal by City Councilman Dennis Zine banning storefronts 1,000 feet from day care centers, schools and places of worship.
Clearly, the retailers are not on a high.