Editor’s note: Medical marijuana access point Seattle Collective Garden sent this message to its email list on Friday. I’ve been on SCG’s email list ever since I reviewed the shop for the Seattle Weekly last November (they were quite good, and Ruby was one of the best budtenders I’ve seen).
With heavy hearts and a heap of frustration we regret to inform you that Seattle Collective Garden recieved a terroristic style letter from the DEA strong-arming us to close our garden.
As many of you know this past year has been very challenging for Ben, with losing his brother and multiple trips out of state to tend to Mom, the burglaries, thefts, extreme competition, and now this.
It’s a lot for one person, and there are no resources or energy left to fight.
Effective immediately SCG is closed.
• Under the I-502 proposed guidelines we are in compliance with the 1000′ “rule”. Feds say we are 815′ which is a threat to the kids.
• The 1000′ rule is a federal sentencing guideline designed to discourage and to punish drug dealers who target kids around schools.
• How can the federal government do asset forfeiture using a sentencing guideline as justification? Abuse of power?
• The crosswalk for the kids to use to cross 15th Ave NW is next to a strip club and store that sells tobacco and alcohol. We don’t have a crosswalk for blocks.
• The prior owners of the location are currently in federal prison for illegal drug sales from our location. Nowhere in any of the search warrant affidavits or the court documents, or especially the sentencing phase was anything at all mentioned about being close to a school. Why all of a sudden the concern? We are around 900′ and several blocks from the back corner of an elementary that cannot even see us nor do the students pass by our location.
• The intent of the letter is to “protect our children.” Well, we all want to protect our children. If the state had concerns about us and kids I’m sure they’d be all over it. Obviously Seattle nor Washington State is concerned that we are negatively impacting children.
• We have no recourse, no appeal process, nothing.
Their strategy is to threaten to seize the business location, so the landlord serves a legal eviction notice. If the garden refuses to close then the local authorities come in and evict them under local eviction laws. Feds don’t even have to get their hands dirty.
The sad thing is the local cannabis community is so fractured and disorganized that we are not even able to put up any sort of fight or defend ourselves. We are slowly being picked off, and even the “lawyers” who have made a lot of money off the industry are saying “close down, no options.”
When things get tough it’s every person for themselves, we’ve found out. We need a Rosa Parks in all this mess.
Thanks for listening to our problems, thanks for being a part of SCG and making it one of the chillest, coolest access points in Seattle. Thank you.
The Crew at Seattle Collective Garden