On Wednesday, October 10, the federal crackdown on medical marijuana in California struck again in Long Beach, CA. Seven dispensaries were raided and early reports stated that more than 40 people were arrested. At least one patient who was acquiring medicine at the time of the raids was detained along with employees for 30-40 minutes.
The raids, termed an “enforcement,” were carried out by Long Beach police, assisted by the DEA, the State of California Franchise Tax Board, the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Seven marijuana dispensaries located throughout the City of Long Beach were shut down. A police press release stated: “The seven dispensaries that were targeted were those that the Police Department had received the highest level of complaints for from the community.”
Long Beach is a city of about 450,000 about 25 miles south of Los Angeles. The ban that city officials imposed on medical marijuana dispensaries went into effect in August. But just a week later, the California State Supreme Court reversed Pack v. City of Long Beach, the controversial lower court decision which had stated that federal law preempted some forms of dispensary regulations. That decision had been the impetus behind the bans, passed by several state municipalities including Los Angeles, to halt the distribution of medical marijuana.
Obviously, the new ruling, which essentially threw into question whether dispensary bans are even viable, had no bearing on the decision of Long Beach city officials to invite the Feds in. Furthermore, at this time, Long Beach police are strongly urging remaining dispensaries to voluntarily cease business warning that “any dispensary that continues to operate will be targeted for closure and those operating the business will be arrested.”