Feb. 7, 2013 12:36

State of Emergency

If your dispensary is raided, here is some advice on what to do


Every medical cannabis patient is apprehensive at hearing that their dispensary has been raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration—unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon sight. Once the feds show up, arrests and confiscations usually follow and people suffering from chronic pain, diseases or other ailments are left stuck in a lurch.

Aside from not knowing where they will be able to secure their next dosage, most medical cannabis patients wonder if they will be safe from legal harassment. Will police officers show up at their home or office the next day asking questions? Will they be harassed or arrested by federal agents for being a patient or using cannabis to treat their ills?

Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML, understands your fears. “We haven’t heard of cases where patients were harassed after raids; they’re looking for the bigger fish.”

Remember, President Obama apparently has “bigger fish to fry.”

Yes, your attempt to obtain, use and possess a federally controlled substance in theory should lead to your rotting in a penitentiary for years, but the government isn’t rounding up people yet.


Here are a few things to keep in mind, according to NORML and several MMJ and cannabis advocates:

● Be polite to officers, and comply with reasonable requests (like sitting down or staying put).

● Have your paperwork, ID, doctor’s recommendations, ect., on your person so you can corroborate your status as an MMJ patient.

● Tell the authorities you wish to remain silent and speak to an attorney


As scary as the issue can be, the feds, for the most part, tend to leave individual patients alone—and tend to focus their attention on big dispensary operators, growers and other high-profile members of the MMJ community.

“Although all marijuana is illegal under federal law, the feds have pledged not to come after patients, and they have held to that pledge,” Komp says. “They come after operators they claim aren’t complying with state law, are operating for profit, or are too close to schools.”

That means that even if your dispensary was raided yesterday, the FBI probably isn’t going to kick down your door tomorrow morning.

What about local police? Will a police officer go through the files of a raided dispensary, find a person’s medical records and harass them for being a cannabis patient? Probably not. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects doctors and patients from such a violation of privacy, and the consequences for violating HIPAA security regulations, even for police officers, are very serious, involving heavy fines and even jail time for violators. Yes, medical cannabis patients are protected by HIPAA.

Until medical cannabis is finally legalized on a federal level across the United States, some patients will continue to live in fear, on one level or another. The good news is that laws are changing, state by state (18 at last count), and politicians are learning that normal, everyday American citizens approve of legalization and cannabis right more and more with every election cycle.

“California NORML is working for full legalization, under which there would be no need for adults to register anywhere to use marijuana,” Komp says.

As politicians continue to embrace the issue because of public pressure, raids on dispensaries might decrease. Until laws change, that’s the best hope we can all have.

Also in Flash

Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:29
Available through Always Greenest Delivery.This Romulan ’91 nug is so frosty, it almost looks like a tiny disco ball! There are so many trichromes covering the excellent structure, it’s easy...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:46
Available at Delta-9 T.H.C. in Wilmington.Saturn is the most spectacular planet in our solar systems and of all the planetary named strains, Saturn OG is considered to rank right up there with th...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:17
Available at Om of Medicine in Ann Arbor.Imagine you’re having a picnic on a freshly mowed lawn and the first thing you have is a juicy, fresh orange. Or maybe a mango. Or both. With a smile on...
Available at The Barn in Burton.Now this is something for the cannasseurs. Lemon seems to overwhelm this strain, but the piney after-notes keep it grounded. At 70/30 indica-dominant and 19.85 per...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:23
Available at Greenland Dispensary in Portland.This fruity sativa tastes sweet like a honeydew melon. Sold by Greenland Dispensary in Portland, these are some pretty skunky buds. When smoked, this...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:44
Available at Weed Care in Riverside.Pluto OG, which bears the last planet’s planetary strain name, is as amazing as the pictures from the New Horizons probe’s three-billion mile encounter wit...
Available wherever Edipure products are carried.These peanut butter cookies by Edipure are really, really good. Maybe too good. Tasting just like the cookies you remember from childhood, there is...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:50
Available at Sunset Herbal Corner in North Hollywood.PR, denoting Private Reserve, is always something very special. Definitely in the category of something very special is the PR Blue Dream from...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:52
Available at So-Cal Co-Op in Woodland Hills.Named for the rap star for whom it was purportedly created, Master P could have had this potent strain in mind when writing his hit rap, “Make Em Say...
Available at The Crown Collective in Mira Loma.As AU is the periodic chart symbol for gold, AU Gold Snow Cap Crumble can be read as Double Gold Snow Cap Crumble. Have no doubt that this legacy We...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 09:59

Milo Greene will satisfy your soul with its unique sound

For the last five years, the Los Angeles quintet, Milo Greene, has dedicated itself to establishing the band as one of the hardest working acts in the indie rock world. When not diligently writing...
Aug. 5, 2015 - 03:57
Madden NFL 16 Pub. EA Sports Dev. EA Tiburon Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 Release Date: August 25 If there’s one thing that gamers can count on,...
July 1, 2015 - 03:09
F1 2015 Pub. Codemasters Dev. Codemasters Birmingham Release: July 21 Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC The F1 game franchise has been exciting gamers with authentic F1 rac...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:20
Available at The Pole in Detroit.A very tasty strain; the parents of this 80/20 indica-dominant hybrid are Blueberry and Shining Silver Haze. With a sweet blueberry taste, you’ll want to get ca...