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DEA Arrest Owners of 6 L.A. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

posted 04:28 PM EST, Thu May 29, 2008
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DEA Arrest Owners of 6 L.A. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries © Photo: KK+

After undercover agents were able to purchase as much as a pound of marijuana without ever having to display any medical need, the owners of "Holistic Caregivers" were arrested on felony drugs charges.

In December 2007 a man high on marijuana bought from a "medical marijuana dispensary" in Los Angeles crashed his pick-up into a parked SUV, leaving the driver of the parked car dead, and a California Highway Patrol Officer paralyzed from the waist down.

The ensuing investigation led federal officials to a chain of 6 LA area medical marijuana dispensaries, Holistic Caregivers, and to the Tuesday drug arrest of the married owners, Virgil and Psytra Grant.

Under California law, marijuana can be sold to patients with a doctor's prescription for the medication. Under federal law the sale of marijuana under any circumstances is illegal. Federal officers, in general, tend to respect state law and state jurisdiction, except in the case of egregious abuses.

Federal investigators from the DEA and IRS who investigated the California dispensaries reported that their undercover agents had purchased marijuana from the facilities, even without evidence of medical need. Federal agents described purchasing as much as 1 pound of marijuana in "backdoor" visits to the Compton branch of Holistic Caregivers.

United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said, "The dispensaries involved in this case were simply drug-dealing enterprises designed to generate profits for those who chose to ignore federal law and flout state law."

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