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I-502 Fight Behind DEA's Seattle Dispensary Letters?

Posted on August 28, 2012 by News Admin


Were medical marijuana dispensaries targeted for opposing I-502, which is sponsored by Seattle's city attorney?

The Drug Enforcement Administration letters sent out to 23 Seattle-area medical marijuana access points on Thursday are already stinking to high heaven, just over 24 hours later, as allegations of improper influence cloud the air.

According to Toke of the Town's well-placed source in the Washington cannabis community, Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes saw, at Hempfest, the strong opposition to Washington state Initiative 502, the "legalization" measure with a strict and unscientific DUI provision that has torn the community asunder. And, according to this version of events, Pete decided he really didn't like the medical marijuana industry very much.

Our source tells us that when Holmes got home from Hempfest, still smarting from public relations drubbing the No On 502 folks handed the Yes team at the protestival, he allegedly influenced his good friend U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan to send the letters which went out to dispensaries on Thursday.

"Pete Holmes and Seattle's city government were hopping mad at the medical marijuana industry after Hempfest," our source claimed. When Holmes, according to the source, contacted his friend Durkan  -- the top federal prosecutor in Western Washington -- she had the list drawn up of 23 dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools and parks, drafted the letter, and distributed it Thursday.

According to our source, Holmes even went so far as to tell the lawyer of one dispensary, "I can get your client jacked up federally on RICO charges."

"They're playing big, big games," our source told us. "Capitol Hill is now completely shut down for medicine."

However, another, equally well placed source within the Seattle medical marijuana community told Toke of the Town Friday night that he knew "one thousand percent sure" that City Attorney Holmes had nothing to do with the execution or timing of the DEA letters.

According to this second source, who asked not to be named, the plans to mail Thursday's DEA letters to 23 dispensaries were drawn up months before Hempfest occurred.

Seattle marijuana activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt agreed. "These letters were ready to go out quite a while ago," Hiatt told Toke of the Town Friday night. "The Associated Press verified that the letters were ready to go out at least a couple of months ago.

"Why the letters didn't go out when they were ready I don't know, but why they are going out at this time doesn't have anything to do with 502 or Hempfest, and I'm positive Pete Holmes didn't have anything to do with who got the letters," Hiatt told us.

"The reason the letters were sent and announced at this time is it relates to school starting back, and it's not because of 502, Hempfest, Pete Holmes, or anything else," Hiatt said. "The federal government has its own schedule, and they do what they're gonna do. The letters were all signed by a DEA agent, not Jenny [Durkan]. Everything was ready to go months ago."

Confirmed Access Point Closures

Both the first and second sources agreed in confirming the accuracy of the list below, which gives 11 of the 23 access points which have received orders from the DEA to close within 30 days.

Among the confirmed closures within the next 30 days (a few shops shut down immediately upon receipt of the letters; many are waiting out the 30 days before locking their doors):

Apothecary Seattle, Capitol Hill

BOTH Collective, Capitol Hill

Cannabis Club Co-Op, Tacoma

Emerald Gardens, West Seattle

Evergreen Holistic, Kent

Fweedom, Ballard

Green Hope, Shoreline (immediately ceased operations)

Medicine Jar, 104th & Aurora

Pharmaseed, West Seattle

Seattle Quality Collective on Rainer (South location)

The Solution, 105th & Aurora

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