Grand Jury Indicts Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Grand Jury Indicts Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensers

SPOKESMAN.COM - The owners of two medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Charles Wesley Wright and Jon Richard Vivian, owners of the THC Pharmacy on South Perry Street, and Jerry Wayne Laberdee and Dennis Lewis Whited, owners of Medical Herb Providers, face time in federal prison under multi-count indictments filed today in U.S. District Court.

The charges are the latest in an escalating effort by federal authorities to rein in marijuana sales in states where voters have approved its medical use. Federal authorities warned medical marijuana providers in the Spokane area in early April that they planned to enforce federal drug laws if the shops did not close immediately.

Dispensaries across the county, including THC Pharmacy and Medical Herb Providers, were raided three weeks later.

Shop owners were operating under the assumption that they were complying with state law, and that federal authorities weren't interested in dispensaries, said Frank Cikutovich, who specializes in marijuana cases.

"I think I'm more shocked than surprised," Cikutovich said.

The raids in "solved the problem…that one big weekend got rid of all the dispensaries and sent a message to everyone," he continued. "I just don't see the need to put more people in prison for 5, 10, 15 years for producing medicine." >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SPOKESMAN.COM

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