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DEA Raids Eleven Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Today, City of West Hollywood Not Amused

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Five Santa Monica Blvd. medical marijuana dispensaries were raided by the feds today, pretty much harshing the mellow of the WeHo city council.

"The state of California voted to allow marijuana for medical purposes," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land. "The City of West Hollywood along with other cities across the state have established regulations to govern the dispensing of medical marijuana, so that people whose lives depend on this drug can be assured of safe access to their medicine. The DEA should spend their time going after dispensaries that are not operating in accordance with local ordinances, as well as unscrupulous doctors who write illegitimate prescriptions," she continued. "Today's actions again demonstrate the skewed priorities of the Bush administration and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang. "Providing safe access to medical marijuana for those living with serious and often painful illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and other terminal diseases is something this City supports. We have worked closely with our community to insure these establishments operate safely and comply with the spirit of Proposition 215 adopted by the voters of California," he continued. - Business Wire

The dispensaries in question were: Alternative Herbal Health, Medical Marijuana Pharmacy, West Hollywood Caregivers, California Cannabis Pharmacy, West Hollywood Center for Compassionate Healing.Sara Pullen of the DEA said that federal laws overrule state laws so they not only raided the five West Hollywood dispensaries, but four in the Valley, one in Hollywood, and one in Venice.

"Obviously we are looking for marijuana and other illegal drugs, marijuana edibles and evidence of ongoing criminal activity and anything from paperwork to documents -- you name it... Marijuana is illegal in any form," she said. "Federal law does have supremacy over state law where there is a difference between federal law and state law by a ruling of the Supreme Court. Therefore, marijuana is illegal." Pullen told CBS2.

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City Manager Paul Arevalo said that today's actions was news to the City. “The DEA raids came as a complete surprise to the City,” said Arevalo. “It is regrettable that the federal, state and local governments cannot work together on this issue.”

photo by Thomas Hawk