Jun 012011

Law-enforcement authorities served search warrants this morning at five medical marijuana dispensaries in Fresno County.

Sheriff Margaret Mims said authorities believe the dispensaries are making a profit off marijuana sales, which is illegal under state law; the dispensaries are required to be non-profit operations. Local, state and federal agents seized seized bank records, phone records and information about deliveries, Mims told the Fresno Bee.

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The warrants were served at Buds 4 Life Collective, 3705 N. Clovis Ave.; Cafe 215 Collective, 3795 N. Clovis Ave.; Gardens Ablaze, 4135 N. Clovis Ave.; Earthsource, 5585 E. Griffith Way; and Buds 4 Life North, 16906 N. Friant Road.

Warrants also were served at five residences and two warehouses, sheriff’s authorities said.

The seizures capped a six-month investigation, Mims said. The sheriff and county Supervisor Debbie Poochigian, whose district includes the Clovis Avenue-area dispensaries, said they had received complaints from neighbors about illegal drug deals and excessive traffic.

Chris Rice, who said he was a client at Buds 4 Life on Clovis Avenue, arrived at the dispensary during the operation. He said he was unable to pick up his marijuana prescription, which he uses to manage pain from a knee injury. (Bud’s note: There’s no such thing as a marijuana prescription in California. Doctors issue recommendations for medical cannabis as authorized by Prop. 215; they can’t prescribe it under federal law.)

“I don’t like it at all,” Rice said of the operation. “I need my medication.”

A neighbor of the Buds 4 Life store said he was pleased to see law enforcement at the dispensary.

“I don’t want it in my neighborhood,” said the neighbor, who declined to be identified. “It’s legal drug-dealing in my neighborhood.”

 Posted by at 3:52 pm

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