The laws behind marijuana in the United States have always been confusing (to say the least), with most of this confusion coming from the structure of government. Federally, cannabis is completely illegal: it’s classified as a schedule 1 narcotic along with heroin and meth. However, many states have taken a different approach to marijuana and have legalized it either medicinally or recreationally. The biggest problem with the disparity between these two entities is that agents working for the federal government (DEA) can perform raids on businesses without recognizing the state law, creating controversy. Here are 4 crazy dispensary raid stories, all taking place in the United States.
1. Sky High Medical
This might be the most absurd raid on a cannabis club in history. Police enter the Sky High medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana on May 27th, 2015 guns drawn. After breaking down two doors, patients and staff are asked to get down on the floor, except one amputee patient in a wheelchair who is escorted out. Once the dispensary is under police control, they destroy the cameras they see and begin “collecting evidence” — but they miss a camera. Luckily for us, we get to witness their evidence collection: playing darts, eating some of the edibles, breaking cameras and generally disrespecting the contents of the shop.
2. THC Collective
This video shows the raid of the dispensary “THC Collective” in Long Beach California. Police state that the club was operating outside federal and state laws without a business permit. Now, these charges are questionable considering the process of obtaining a license for cannabis but this is not why the story is unique. During the arrest of the volunteer employees at the dispensary, police are being accused of using force and destroying evidence. The video shows a Long Beach policeman walking across the back and neck of one of the clerks while arresting him, completely unwarranted.
3. Alaska Cannabis Club
Who can forget Alaska Cannabis Queen Charlo Greene and her infamous “Fuck it, I quit” segment on-air during her job as a reporter at CBS. This happened when she was supporting her business “The Alaska Cannabis Club.” Shortly after her resignation, her club was raided by 12 police officers due to complaints that cannabis was being sold on the premises. The police confiscated cannabis and paraphernalia while also impounding two cars. Cannabis is legal in the state of Alaska if you are in possession of it or smoking it, but the sale of marijuana is still illegal.
4. Aaron Sandunsky
Aaron Sandusky is the owner of multiple medical marijuana dispensaries in California who is now facing drug trafficking charges despite working with California state law. Sandusky was hopeful in President Obama’s promise to stop using federal resources to crack down on cannabis dispensaries operating legally within state law. Yet despite this, Sandusky faces 20 years in prison. Along with a lengthy jail sentence, Aaron has been left with nothing as police raided and confiscated many of his assets as evidence.
These stories are few in the saga of police raids in our country. When will the madness end?
Featured image 1000 Words / Shutterstock