|Photo: KOMO News|
|Guy Casey, North End Club 420: “I’m calling for everybody in the medical marijuana community to stand behind us”|
Law enforcement officers served three warrants Tuesday morning in their attempt to shut down a Tacoma, Washington-based medical marijuana dispensary, North End Club 420.
The warrants were served at two Tacoma addresses — a home and an office building — and an Olalla home, according to the West End Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNET), reports Stacey Mulick of The Tacoma News Tribune.
The multi-agency WestNET force, which focuses primarily on Kitsap and Mason counties, claimed it had been working on the case since January with the help of undercover snitches.
The North End Club 420 is one of three new medical marijuana dispensaries in Tacoma.
North End Club 420, one of the newer dispensaries for medical marijuana patients in Tacoma, went online December 1 and in early February started renting office space in an office building near the 38th Street Bridge.
“We help patients establish safe legal grows, teach patients how to maintain their gardens, provide quality genetics, and even help provide cannabis for patients waiting to harvest,” the group wrote on its website.
“We are NOT here to reap incredible financial rewards from the pain and suffering of patients and the legal disadvantages built into the current legislation,” the group wrote. “We got together because, as patients, we found we had no one to turn to for help, except one another.”
Guy Casey is one of the two medicinal cannabis growers who were booked into jail, accused by police of selling pot to the general public.
“I’m in jail for helping people, so be it,” Casey told KOMO News. “You’ll see the public outcry. We’ll see what is going on.”
Casey said he is the victim of a police crackdown on legitimate medical marijuana users. “Here I am, a 48-year-old patient,” Casey said. “And here I am in jail, trying to explain my situation. It’s a travesty. This is insane.”
Agents claim they found nearly 70 marijuana plants in an underground grow operation at Casey’s home. Detectives claim the limit for medical marijuana plants is 15, but Casey said he needs the 70 plants to provide adequate care for the three legal users he provides for.
“If you read the law, it says 15 or whatever you deem necessary,” Casey said. “It’s been amended. They don’t put a lot of credence in that, but that’s the facts.”
“I’m calling for everybody in the medical marijuana community to stand behind us and this situation,” Casey said. “Let’s get it squared away. This is ridiculous.”
Police investigators with WestNET have a history of being quite unfriendly to patients and especially providers in Washington state, where voters legalized marijuana in 1998.
They claim the founders of the clubs “are involved with the illegal manufacture and distribution of marijuana for the purpose of financial gain,” according to a police press release.
During the “investigation” (if you can call harassing and arresting sick people that), a police operative made several controlled purchases of marijuana from club members. Law enforcement officials are claiming the operative did not have a doctor’s authorization for medical marijuana.
Investigators claimed the buys were conducted in “a manner that clearly indicates the organization is selling marijuana to multiple persons at a price which is even higher than it would cost to purchase on the street.”
“The Club appears to be making thousands of dollars in unreported tax-free income,” the envious police claimed, “from selling drugs to persons who may not qualify and profiting from taking advantage of those who have a legitimate and authorized medical need to use marijuana.”
The police left unexplained exactly how they are helping patients by cutting off what for many is the only safe and legitimate source of medicine.
Casey and one co-defendant are set to appear in court on Wednesday. Casey said he doesn’t plan to bail out of jail; he plans to stay behind bars in order to make a statement.”