Federal and local officials raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area Wednesday and arrested their owner. Officers seized 200 plants, 100 pounds of marijuana, and $100,000 in cash.
The Organica Collective was located in Culver City, the Overland Gardens Collective in West LA. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Jose Martinez said the owner, 50-year-old Jeffrey Joseph, was arrested at his home in Topanga Canyon.
Martinez also said a pit bull was shot during one of the raids. The circumstances surrounding the shooting is unclear. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.
The Los Angeles Times reports The Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids.
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The Reason Foundation points out:
...local police were serving state warrants, so ostensibly the feds were assisting them, rather than the other way around. In other words, this looks like the sort of case Attorney General Eric Holder had in mind when he said the Justice Department would get involved in medical marijuana cases only if they involved violations of state as well as federal law. The details of the case against Joseph, once they emerge, may show whether this distinction means anything in practice or is merely a ruse for continued federal interference with California's medical marijuana policy.
Law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on pot dispensaries for some time, but officials did not immediately say what prompted these raids.