By Melissa Pinion-Whitt, The (San Bernardino County) Sunsbsun.com
Created: 05/15/2012 09:32:16 AM PDT
Federal agents and Fontana police raid Holistic Meds RX in Fontana on Tuesday morning. (Rick Sforza/Photo Editor)
Fontana Medical Marijuana Bust
Follow the details from Photo Editor Rick Sforza on Twitter: @RickSforza
Fontana police, sheriff's deputies and federal agents this morning raided and shut down a medical marijuana facility on Base Line that police say carried 30 different varieties of marijuana.
Officers approached Holistic Meds RX, in the 15000 block of Base Line in Fontana, with guns drawn about 9 a.m., and they met no resistance from the facility's employees, said Fontana Sgt. Billy Green, a department spokesman.
Four people, including an armed security guard, were inside at the time, police said. Authorities are still at the location conducting an investigation.
"I went in there, and they put a gun to my head, made me lay on the floor and handcuffed me," said a customer, who only identified himself as "Robert."
Officers and agents are examining paperwork at the business, talking to employees and seizing drugs, Green said. This is the first medical marijuana facility to be busted in Fontana, he added. Fontana police say medical marijuana facilities have been turning up in the city about two years, and many comply by closing their business after being warned they could have their assets seized.
"It's significant to us because we have identified seven other medical marijuana facilities in the city, and we are working with the federal government to get them shut down as well," Green said.
Holistic Meds RX has been in business about seven months and sits in a strip mall that includes a pharmacy and numerous other businesses.
An employee, customer and the security guard were released by the DEA and police after being questioned. Employees all declined comment.
While police say the business was operating illegally because the city does not license medical marijuana facilities and Holistic had no business permit, police did not plan to make any arrests at the site today. Police say arrests could be made later if the DEA pursues an indictment.
The customer who was in the store at the time of the bust said he came from San Bernardino to purchase marijuana. The 67-year-old said he's a Vietnam War veteran and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments that are alleviated by marijuana use.
"They're just forcing people to go to the black market and do things illegally," he said.
The task force conducting the raid is composed of three DEA personnel, two sheriff's deputies and one Fontana police officer. A small section of the parking lot, in front of the business, is closed while authorities conduct the investigation.
Photo Editor Rick Sforza contributed to this story.
I guess you can see how this works now. If a city wants the dispensaries out, they just call the feds. Notice the subtle hint that they plan to go after the remaining dispensaries. It boils down to the only ones that aren't in the wrong here are the patients - the cities and the dispensaries are just playing games.