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Feds Raid Downtown L.A. Medical Marijuana Dispensary


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Federal agents seized marijuana and cash Thursday night from a medical marijuana dispensary in the loft district near Little Tokyo, officials said.

Twenty agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided the Arts District Healing Center in the 600 block of East 1st Street.

DEA spokesman Jose Martinez said the agents searched the two-story building for 3 1/4 hours. There were no arrests.

Authorities had not determined as of late Thursday night the amount of cash and marijuana they seized, Martinez said.

The affidavit submitted by the DEA to search the offices stated that marijuana is classified as a schedule-one controlled substance, "which under federal law means that is not recognized for having any medicinal value."

Steven Schectman, a lawyer for the center, said he wasn't surprised by the raid.

He said the DEA has threatened to take legal action against the landlords unless they evict the marijuana dispensary, and that the real estate dispute will be the subject of a hearing Monday.

Referring to the raid, Schectman said, "Unfortunately, we have anticipated something like this could happen, given our past experience with how the situation has been developing in Los Angeles with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the courts."

California voters legalized marijuana's use for seriously ill people with the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. State laws legalizing medical marijuana have been challenged. However, in 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of the federal government to wage criminal prosecutions against patients and suppliers, in California and other states where cannabis is legally prescribed by a doctor.

News Moderator: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA)
Author: Stuart Silverstein
Contact: stuart.silverstein@latimes.com
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Website: Los Angeles Times
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