The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Crime & Justice

Authorities raid medical marijuana dispensary in Fontana, seize pot smorgasbord

Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

The latest battle in the medical marijuana wars occurred in Fontana yesterday, when federal and local authorities raided a local pot dispensary in one of several planned busts in the city.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that 50 varieties of marijuana in a large display case, along with pot-laced drinks, brownies and crackers, were seized during the Tuesday morning raid at Holistic Meds RX, located on the 15000 block of Baseline Avenue.

Fontana police, sheriff’s deputies and DEA agents entered the dispensary at about 9 a.m. with their guns drawn, the Sun reports. One customer -- an elderly San Bernardino man who said he’s a Vietnam War veteran suffering from rheumatoid arthritis -- told reporters he was pushed to the ground and handcuffed. No arrests were made Tuesday, however.

Fontana does not allow medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders, and police say Holistic Meds RX, which opened seven months ago, has been operating without a license.

Officials note there are plenty more dispensaries in the area -- including seven others in Fontana. Police told the Sun they hope yesterday’s raid serves as a wake-up call for those operations to shut themselves down, and added they are “working with the federal government” to make sure that happens.

A lawyer for Holistic Meds RX said the raid goes against Proposition 215, the “Compassionate Use Act,” which California voters approved in 1996 and which legalized limited sales of marijuana for medical use. But Prop 215 conflicts with federal law prohibiting such sales, and prosecutors say the medical marijuana industry in California has evolved away from the original intention of “compassionate use.”

Two weeks ago a statewide crackdown on medical marijuana -- initiated late last year by the federal government -- came to Santa Barbara County. Feds have also made raids in Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties.