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DEA, Murrieta Police Raid Marijuana Dispensary

Armed with a federal warrant, law enforcement seized 11 pounds of marijuana, 22 pounds of edible products and 21 plants Thursday from Greenhouse Cannabis Club in Murrieta.

Federal agents with the help of Murrieta police raided a medical marijuana dispensary this week.

At about 10 a.m. Thursday, Drug Enforcement Administration agents served a federal warrant at Greenhouse Cannabis Club, 26151 Jefferson Ave. Suite A.

The warrant was served without incident, DEA Special Agent and Spokesperson Sarah Pullen confirmed, in an email to Patch.

"No arrests were made and DEA seized approximately 22 pounds of edible products containing marijuana, 11 pounds of dried marijuana and 21 plants," Pullen said.

The Temecula home of Eric McNeil, who is the director of Greenhouse Cannabis Club, was also searched, according to the warrant obtained by Patch. The home is located in the 40100 block of Medford Road.

Neither McNeil nor an attorney representing him could be reached Friday for comment about the raids.

Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad confirmed four special enforcement Murrieta police detectives assisted federal agents in the warrant service.

"The U.S. Department of Justice (and) U.S. Attorney have stated on many occasions they are committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act," Conrad said, in an email to Patch.

"Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling and distributing marijuana are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, and the federal government can pursue criminal and civil actions against those persons. In this case, the DEA and U.S. Attorney have chosen to pursue these actions," Conrad said.

Marijuana can legally be obtained and used for medical reasons in the state of California, however a Murrieta city ordinance forbids medical marijuana dispensaries.

McNeil in previous comments has stated Greenhouse Cannabis Club was not operating as a dispensary but as a cooperative.

"A dispensary is a place where you go and purchase products; a co-op is a club where members bring products," McNeil told Patch in January after he relocated the operation to Murrieta from Lakeland Village near Lake Elsinore.

"We are allowed to take donations and those go toward (overhead)," McNeil said.

According to the federal warrant, on Feb. 8 a detective with the Riverside Police Department entered Greenhouse Cannabis Club and purchased one gram of marijuana for $20. He presented a medical marijuana registrant card for the purchase, the warrant stated.

The warrant also went into detail about Murrieta police surveillance of Greenhouse Cannabis Club. On one occasion, a client was stopped by an officer as he left. He was initially stopped for using his cellphone while driving. While speaking with the officer, he admitted to purchasing marijuana at the club, the warrant stated.

The city of Murrieta has been embroiled in a court battle with Greenhouse Cannabis Club since it opened. On Feb. 17, that stipulated no more than two patients could be served at the location.

When McNeil—on the advice of his attorney—continued to operate, city attorneys filed a contempt of court charge against him. A contempt of court charge has also been filed against Temecula Valley Food Service, Inc., the owner of the Jefferson Avenue building, court records show.

Both were due in court July 25 for a hearing on the contempt charges.

McNeil has also been issued daily fines for operating despite a city ordinance.

Eric Johnson March 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM
By fully adjudicated law, the California Constitution holds in it a provision that in the case of conflict between Federal and State law, California officials are not allowed to help the Federal Government enforce it's laws. There is no question about this, as it went through the courts in 2009, causing the Attorney General Jerry Brown to issue guidelines for what is and isn't legal, and who can cooperate with whom, and why. This is also why the California Highway Patrol doesn't confiscate medical cannabis from authorized users. That the Murrretta police helped the DEA to carry out this raid is illegal behavior ojn the part of that poklice department. If the DEA wants to raid a dispensary in California, it can, as Federal law trumps state law. But the decisions also indicate that the state does not have to cooperate nor must it have legislation which conforms to the Federal Government's wishes. For example the Supreme court left intact California's law, after having twice the opportunity to strike it down. Ms. Raich was not entitled to an exemption from the Controlled Substances Act for medical reasons, and thuis she remained at peril of Federal arrest and prosecution.But the court left the state law alone. Imagine that. This dispensary suffered a raid and lost some inventory, but there were not arrests, and it will likely be operating again shortly. The scandal is the Murrietta police violating the California Constitution by assisting the DEA in such a raid.
Galactic Cannibal April 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Eric Johnson : Unless you have deep pockets or just won the $640 million lottery . You are wasting your time. To fight a bureaucratic Gov Dept. the size of the DEA requires you spend $millions and millions, with no guarantee you will win. The DEA only differs from Hitler's NAZI's by the shape of their badge. Forget it dude... "In the Land of the Free"
Cindy Petersen April 02, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Mr. McNeil, how in the world did you do this? Getting so much media attention? As a patient, I'm so happy this is happening. What is making G.H.C.C. different from all the other dispensaries? Please share so we can help!
Galactic Cannibal April 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/us-usa-crime-california-idUSBRE8310SV20120402 Open this link above and , put leather jackboots on these DEA enforcers, and what have you got ?. Nothing less than Hitler's SS enforcers. All have the same mentality . nothing less than "total control". The State of California say this operation is legal and gave it a business license . But the U.S. Fed Gov say no its illegal , and we will shut it down All this in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave"
LBV Collins April 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Hi GC. I think we may have reached a tipping point regarding the War on Drugs... And I think the tipping point has tilted in favor of legalizing marijuana. Here’s why I think that: Yesterday, Fareed Zakaria quoted a former conservative presidential candidate as saying, "I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I've never used marijuana and I don't intend to, but it's just one of those things that I think. This war on drugs just hasn't succeeded." The reason this conservative is in favor of legalizing marijuana is because our Drug War has created a prison problem in America that is well beyond what most Americans imagine. "It's completely out of control," he continued. "Prisons are being overcrowded with juvenile offenders having to do with drugs. And the penalties - the maximums - some of them could get 10 years for possession of a joint of marijuana. It makes no sense at all." So who is this former conservative presidential candidate? Pat Robertson, the Evangelical Christian conservative. He made this point during his 700 Club show. When a conservative Evangelical such as Pat Robertson says it's time to stop the Drug War, then I think it's safe to say that we've reached a tipping point. At least I hope we have. Here’s a link to Zakaria’s video: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/30/zakaria-incarceration-nation-2/

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