Eleven medical marijuana sellers in Seattle were recently told by the Drug Enforcement Administration to shut down their dispensaries because they are violating federal drug laws. But instead of backing down, one of them has spoken out to say that the federal government’s policy will force him to be a “drug dealer.”
Douglas Gerdes, owner of The Only Natural in Ballard, told King5.com that he is now considering his next move after receiving a letter from the DEA last week telling him that he was violating federal law for selling an illegal narcotic and operating within 1,000 feet of a school.
“I would love for the DEA to come out here and take a look,” Gerdes said, “Iâ€™m not doing anything wrong.”
Gerdes’ “collective garden” grows 20 plants and has just 8 ounces of marijuana on sale, which is far below what small pot gardens are allowed. He only sells medical cannabis to a small group of patients.
But even though Gerdes is in compliance with the Washington state law, the DEA strongly believes their action to clamp down on Seattle’s medical marijuana dispensaries was just “part of an ongoing strategy to combat trafficking.” Jodie Underwood, DEA spokesperson, said the letters they sent to Gerdes and other medical marijuana sellers had “nothing to do with Washington state law.”
“Probably, Iâ€™ll go underground, break the law and do what it looks like they want me to do,” Gerdes added. “Be a drug dealer.”
Gerdes, who was given 30 days to comply with the DEA’s letter, is now pleading for the state government to defend its own law.