Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 2009
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Swift Communications
Author: Adam Jensen
Cited: Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
Cited: South Lake Tahoe Police
Cited: Americans for Safe Access
Referenced: New South Shore Business Raises Questions About Medical 
Marijuana Use


Federal agents raided a purported medical marijuana dispensary in 
South Lake Tahoe on Thursday.

At about 11 a.m., five agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency 
- -- joined by members of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the South 
Lake Tahoe-El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the South 
Lake Tahoe Police -- served a federal search warrant on Patient to 
Patient Collective at 2314 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Agents seized between five and 10 pounds of processed marijuana and a 
"small amount" of U.S. currency from the collective, DEA Special 
Agent Gordon Taylor said.

Police made no arrests on Thursday.

Taylor declined to comment on additional details of the raid, saying 
Patient to Patient Collective is part of an ongoing investigation.

The search warrant was posted inside the front door of the collective 
on Friday morning, and three men appeared to be loading items from 
the collective into a trailer by the afternoon.

A manager at the collective -- who identified himself only as Matt -- 
blamed the raid on a Dec. 30 Tribune cover story on the business, but 
declined to comment further.

Matt previously told the Tribune that the collective was distributing 
marijuana to medical patients, and that at least 30 patients had 
signed up for the collective since it opened in the first week of December.

Thursday's raid was "unconscionable," said Caren Woodson, director of 
governmental affairs for Americans for Safe Access, a medical 
marijuana advocacy group.

"We are hopeful that these are the last remnants of the Bush regime, 
and that President Obama will quickly develop a more compassionate 
policy toward our most vulnerable citizens," Woodson said in a statement.

Obama has made "repeated promises" to end federal raids in medical 
marijuana states, according to the statement.

A message left with Obama's press office was not immediately returned 
on Friday.

Although the DEA took the lead in Thursday' raid, the collective also 
faced a conflict with city code, said South Lake Tahoe Police Lt. Marty Hale.

The business license for the collective -- issued under the name 
Holistic Solutions -- was "null and void" because of city code 
section 32-2, Hale said.

"No use that is illegal under local, state or federal law shall be 
allowed within the city of South Lake Tahoe," city code states.

SLEDNET had received "a lot" of complaints about the collective from 
South Shore residents, said Task Force Cmdr. Jeff Catchings, but the 
enforcement team was not investigating the collective for any 
violation of state law at the time of the raid.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake