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Feds Raid & Trash Venice Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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At about noon yesterday Drug Enforcement Administration agents showed up at Organica Collective at 13456 Washington Boulveard in Venice and conducted a raid that yielded no arrests, but left a tremendous amount of disarray in their wake.

According to the LA Times, the DEA was there serving a search warrant and with the intent of enforcing the fact that "Marijuana remains a controlled substance, and it is illegal under federal law to possess, dispense or cultivate marijuana in any form," as Los Angeles' DEA office spokewoman Sarah Pullen explained.

One eyewitness saw that "DEA agents searched and cuffed the roughly 25 people inside the building, which also includes four upstairs rooms. Then agents started searching the premises, removing computers, medicine and money, and using a steel cylinder battering ram to get into the upstairs bedrooms."

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But no one was arrested, although many were visibly agitated by the events of the four-hour raid. The agents made quite a mess of the popular dispensary, and the Times reports they "left behind trash, counters strewn with open and empty glass jars, piles of receipts thrown on the ground, upturned couch cushions, bits of marijuana on the edges of counters and an ATM with its doors torn open and emptied," and that "in the residents' rooms a safe was cut open, dresser drawers pulled open, and rumpled clothes and knickknacks thrown on the ground. An outdoor vegetable garden had plants uprooted, along with marijuana plants removed by the agents." The dispensary promotes itself as a law-abiding collective working in compliance with Prop 215 and SB 420.

Ironically, as the Times points out, "the federal operation came on the day an appellate court in San Diego ruled that federal law does not preempt the state's law allowing the use of medical marijuana."

Photo by Lenny Montana via Flickr