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United States v. Russell Blake (2011-present, Spokane, WA)

posted Feb 3, 2013, 12:20 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jun 6, 2013, 3:31 AM ]
In early April 2011, federal authorities announced plans to enforce federal law against approximately forty Washington medical marijuana providers.  Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Washington under voter initiative Measure 692 (1998) and Senate Bill 6032 (2007).  Eastern Washington U.S. District Attorney Michael Ormsby also sent a letter to the governor on April 14, 2011 threatening state officials with prosecution if a distribution licensing system, such as that proposed by SB 5073, is adopted.

On April 28, 2011, the DEA raided Spokane-area THC Pharmacy, Evergreen Medical, Club Compassion, Human Connection, and Medical Herb Providers. The raids took place during a raid preparedness training session at Spokane Public Library for medical marijuana activists.  The class was excused early so that attendees could protest at the active medical marijuana dispensary raid sites.  A federal grand jury on July 20, 2011 indicted owners of three different medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane, WA.  The criminal charges, which include manufacture and distribution of marijuana and maintaining a drug-involved location, carry penalties of up to 40 years in prison.  Defendants also face forfeiture of any property or proceeds derived from illegal operations.

Russell Blake of Loon Lake was indicted for cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants, maintaining a drug-involved premise, and possession and distribution of marijuana.  Blake's property at 3942 F. Garden Spot Road was raided on April 28, 2011 in the area crackdown on medical marijuana providers.  The indictment also lists incidents of distribution of marijuana on April 20 and April 21, 2011.

Business records seized in the spring 2011 raids will be used by the federal government to quantify the amount of marijuana sold.  By maintaining proper business records, the defendants collected evidence to be used against them in federal court.  Federal penalties increase due to the quantity of marijuana sold or number of plants cultivated.

Last updated February 15, 2013 by Lex Libreman for WEED WARS: United States v. Marijuana.

Sources:


Bannach, Chelsea. "Marijuana Outlets Raided." Spokesman.com. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), 29 Apr. 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. <http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/apr/29/marijuana-outlets-raided/>.

Cuniff, Meghann M. "Grand Jury Indicts Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensers." Spokesman.com. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. <http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/jul/20/grand-jury-indicts-spokane-medical-marijuana-dispe/>.

Yardley, William. "New Federal Crackdown Confounds States That Allow Medical Marijuana." NYTimes.com. The New York Times, 7 May 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/us/08marijuana.html?pagewanted=all>.
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