*See bottom of post for update:
ORIGINAL POST, Oct. 10, 2:44 p.m
.: As we reported last month, an Ace Hardware
store in Long Beach drew the ire of Long Beach pot activists
when it began protesting against the nearby Fourth & Olive
marijuana dispensary. Folks protested the store and threatened a consumer boycott. So when reports began circulating an hour ago that the DEA raided that dispensary today, it almost sounded like Ace Hardware must have had some major juice with the federal government.
But as it turns out, according to reports that are still coming in, (and which we'll have to update later as the situation unfolds), Fourth & Olive was just one of several clubs the feds simultaneously raided today.
Three other clubs in Long Beach were raided: GEC, which stands for Green Earth Collective; PRC, or People's Republic Collective, and the ATL Junction Collective. Maybe the DEA has something against pot clubs with three-letter acronyms? In any case, the DEA also reportedly raided a trio of Anaheim clubs today, but we don't have their names yet.
Wow, that's some fast work, feds!
Andale andale! The Mexican cartels say: muchas gracias, cabrones! Meanwhile, stay tuned, stoners, as more bad news, especially
about the Anaheim raids, becomes available...
UPDATE, OCt. 11, 8:46 a.m.: Despite initial reports yesterday that the DEA had raided a trio of Anaheim pot collectives at the same time as those raided in Long Beach, it now appears that information was erroneous, attributable perhaps to the fog of war. Instead, it now seems all seven locations, including the Green Room and Herbal Solutions, were in Long Beach.
The information about Anaheim being raided came from an eyewitness to one of the raids in Long Beach who stated that this is what one of the police officer stated at the scene. That witness also reported that the DEA was carrying out the raid because, he said, there was a black van with those letters on it outside the collective being raided. If so, this would not be unusual, since the DEA has often worked with local law enforcement agencies when raiding pot clubs throughout Southern California in the past year.
However, in an email, Matthew Pappas, a lawyer representing several pot clubs that have sued the city over their harsh tactics, said he wasn't certain the DEA really was involved. "As the raids began, there were reports the federal D.E.A. was raiding," Pappas stated. "However, it ended up that the raids were conducted by the Long Beach Police Department. Although not yet confirmed, it appears there may have been Long Beach Police Officers wearing shirts and/or jackets with the letters 'D.E.A.' printed on them. We have been unable to verify that any federal officers were involved. Following a volley of letters sent by City Attorney Robert Shannon threatening landlords that he was calling in the federal government, it may be that Long Beach wanted to further terrorize patients and landlords of patient collectives by giving the impression that the 'feds' were involved." Pappas also stated that numerous patients were arrested during the raids and that his office had been busy throughout the day and night seeking their release. More information to come as the situation unfolds...