|Graphic: Big Sky Patient Care|
|Big Sky Patient Care only stayed closed a week after being raided by gun-wielding DEA agents.|
Valerie Sigler said her business did nothing illegal, so the co-owner of Big Sky Patient Care, a medical marijuana dispensary in Four Corners, Montana, was back open for business on Monday.
Sigler and her husband decided to continue providing medical marijuana to patients after speaking with their lawyer on Sunday, reports Daniel Person at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Big Sky Patient Care was one of around 10 dispensaries raided by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents last week.
|Valerie Sigler, Big Sky Patient Care|
The raids were supposedly targeting “criminal networks,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed in a press release following the searches.
Sigler said she is confident her business is in compliance with Montana law, and said she felt comfortable reopening its doors.
“I am not going to leave my patients,” she said. “(The raids) have left them on such a lurch.
“We have not violated any Montana law,” Sigler said.
Asked where she would get marijuana for her patients after the federal raids, Sigler said the business had a storefront in Butte that was not searched by agents.
The federal government does not recognize medicinal or any other uses for marijuana, but the Obama Administration said in 2009 that going after medical marijuana businesses that comply with state law was “not a good use of resources.”
But U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter claimed the raids, which were carried out with the participation of local law enforcement (surprise, surprise, they’ve always hated the medical marijuana law anyway), targeted businesses “where there is probable cause that the premises were involved in illegal and large-scale trafficking of marijuana.”
An affidavit filed by agents in federal court claimed Big Sky Patient Care sold several pounds of marijuana to a Helena dispensary after that business was vandalized.
Sigler said those sales were legal, since Montana law allows caregivers to “transport” and “transfer” marijuana, and maintained that the raids came in retaliation for her activism on the issue.
No charges have been filed in connection with the raids — but don’t expect the $4 million seized in the operation to be returned any time soon.