Friday, September 11, 2009
Spokane Washington Medical Marijuana Provider News
Medical pot supplier raided
Two men arrested; other dispensaries on notice
Meghann M. Cuniff / meghannc@spokesman. com, (509) 459-5534
September 11, 2009
As police pulled marijuana plants from the home of a medical marijuana
supplier Thursday in north Spokane, a woman stood on a porch next door,
smoking pot from a glass pipe.
Sherri Rager wasn't worried about getting busted. Her state-issued
medical marijuana permit allows her to legally smoke and possess the
But she'll need to find a new place to get her supply. Police
arrested her friend and supplier, Christopher P. Stevens, 36, on
suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in an
investigation that authorities hope will serve as a warning for other
medical marijuana dispensaries. Scott Q. Shupe, 54, who with Stevens
owns the medical marijuana dispensary Change, also was arrested. Both
were at Spokane County Jail on Thursday night.
More than 30 plants were seized from Stevens' home on North Cedar
Street, and detectives found more than 100 plants at a Nine Mile Falls
home, as well as a grow operation at 900 E. 11th Ave. Spokane police
also raided the Change dispensary at 1514 W. Northwest Blvd. and a home
at 726 W. Mansfield Ave.
No other dispensaries were raided, but all received a letter from the
Spokane County Prosecutor's Office warning them that their
operations are illegal. Police say there are about six or seven
dispensaries in Spokane.
Dozens of medical-marijuana card holders and pot advocates rallied
outside Spokane City Hall on Thursday afternoon to protest the raids.
The bust comes just weeks after Darren McCrea, founder of the medical
marijuana support group SpoCannabis, was charged with selling marijuana
to five medical card holders, possession with intent to deliver and
manufacture of a controlled substance. Police raided his home last year.
The Spokane Police Department is the first agency in Washington to
arrest distributors of medical marijuana, shaping a legal showdown over
a voter-imposed law both sides say is confusing.
"We've got to get this figured out, because we feel people are
taking advantage of the law," said Spokane police spokeswoman
Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. "It's going to have to go the higher
courts, and we fully expect it to."
At issue is a provision in the voter approved law that allows caretakers
to supply up to 1.5 pounds of marijuana "at any one time" to
those with state-issued medical marijuana cards.
Dispensaries like Change have patients check in and check out and
prohibit more than one customer from being in the supply room at a time,
which they argue complies with the "one at a time" provision.
But Spokane County prosecutors say the provision limits each caretaker
to just one patient – period – and businesses such as Change
with multiple customers are illegal.
The state Department of Health Web site also says the dispensaries are
Shupe is already facing a felony drug charge in Oregon after police
found 4 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop last
http://www.spokesma n.com/stories/ 2009/sep/ 11/medical- pot-supplier- raided\