Video: How the Feds Killed Medical Marijuana in Washington State

By Dirk Hanson 05/10/11

If you want to discourage the medical marijuana industry, stage a high-profile DEA raid just as a state governor is about to make the dispensaries legal.

If you want to discourage a state from pursuing medical marijuana, nothing fits the bill like a high-profile neighborhood raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Last week, the Feds set out to make their point in Spokane, raiding medical pot shops despite a crowd of hecklers and sign-wavers. The America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would be looking into the matter on behalf of marijuana activists in the state. But all the hoopla had its intended effect. The day after the raid, Washington's Governor Chris Gregoire vetoed his legislature’s effort to create licensed marijuana dispensaries in his state. (See our earlier story, "Obama's War Against Medical Marijuana.")

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]

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