Medical marijuana protesters want law clarified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Medical marijuana protesters want law clarified

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  • Police raid medical marijuana shop

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    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two people were arrested Thursday following a four-month investigation and police raid on the medical marijuana shop 'Change' in North Spokane.>>
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Medical marijuana supporters once again made their voices heard Monday by holding a protest outside the Spokane County courthouse days after a police raid on a North Spokane medical marijuana shop.

Thursday's raid on the medical marijuana dispensary 'Change' was reported by police as the first such bust in the state of Washington.

The 'Change' shop is currently closed and immediately after the raid, detectives advised other area medical marijuana dispensaries within the City of Spokane to terminate their businesses as well.

In the 'Change' raid, two people - the co-owners and operators - were arrested. Police say the shop had more than 1,000 customers which violates medical marijuana law.

The law states that dispensaries with a legal medical license can provide the drug  to 'only one patient at any one time,' not the multiple clients that 'Change' was said to have.

The law, as it reads, is at the center of the protests for shop owners. They interpret the law as allowing for multiple patients, but serving their needs one at a time.

The owners of 'Change' say they were following the law in that only one patient was allowed in the shop at a time and they had a system of signing in and out to ensure the law, as they read it, was followed.

Chantel Jackson, the owner of another dispensary,'Human Connection,' shut down her shop after last week's bust on 'Change' and says she is now looking for answers.

"We just need clarification on the law, the law officers, all the officials are reading the law different than what we're reading it," said Jackson.

Police say at this point people who have a medical license can grow their own or get it from a care provider as long as that care provider is only growing enough marijuana for a single patient.

With no operating dispensaries in Spokane, many of the protesters expressed that the only place to go for the drug is to drug dealers.

A current medical marijuana user, Buffy Speaks, has had a prescription since last spring and now has nowhere to go to buy the drug.

"It's putting a lot of patients at risk cause some of the patients are resorting back to the 'black market' to get their medication," said Speaks. "We want patients to get it legally and safely at dispensaries."

Dispensary owners plan to try and speak during Monday night's City Council meeting. KHQ Local News Reporter Tom Durian will be live from City Hall at 6 p.m.

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