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Registered: 07/06/10
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US: Weho Medical Cannabis Collectives Closed After DEA Raid
    #537350 - 03/16/11 08:57 AM (7 years, 2 months ago)

By James F. Mills and Danielle Jacoby

WestHollywood Patch

Wednesday 16 Mar 2011
Federal agents and local law enforcement personnel raid Alternative Herbal Health Services and Zen Healing Collective—two of four dispensaries allowed to operate in West Hollywood.

Two West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensaries were raided this afternoon. One arrest was made, according to City News Service.

Federal agents along with Los Angeles Police Department officers and West Hollywood sheriff’s deputies raided Alternative Herbal Health Services and Zen Healing Collective on Santa Monica Boulevard around 2:10 p.m., reported the Los Angeles Times.

Acting on a tip from a reader, Weho Patch visited the dispensaries late Tuesday afternoon. A black tarp covered half of Zen Healing's front window, with handwritten signs: "Closed" and "Closed Permanently," posted on the front door.

At least three people were inside the collective when Weho Patch knocked on the door. An employee came to the door, but would not open it. He merely said, "We're closed permanently."

Further east at AHHS, a handwritten sign on the door read, "I'M Sorry. We Will Be Closed for a Couple Days." Beside the text was a sad face. Computers and a big screen TV were still visible through the window.

Customers came to the doors of each of the shops, all seeming startled by the signs saying that they were closed. At Zen Healing, an older man was shedding tears, pleading with the store employees who would not open the door.

Don Duncan, the director of the California branch of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana organization, sent out an email blast alerting people that the raids were occurring at AHHS and Zen Healing early in the afternoon.

In the message, Duncan called for protesters and legal observers to go to both locations. He further said, "Americans for Safe Access strongly condemns the raids and calls on the Administration to live up to its promise of a more reasonable federal policy."

While medical marijuana is legal with a doctor’s prescription in California and a dozen other states, possession of marijuana is still a felony under federal law. Thus, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) periodically raids marijuana dispensaries.

In January 2007, the DEA conducted simultaneous raids on 11 Los Angeles area dispensaries, five of which were in West Hollywood. Both AHHS and Zen Healing are two of the four medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to operate in West Hollywood.

Weho Patch contacted Sarah Pullen of the Drug Enforcement Administration, but has not yet received a comment.

West Hollywood Patch will update this story as more details become available.





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