Police seize 401 plants in marijuana investigation

September 11, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized 401 marijuana plants and about 65 pounds of processed pot Sept. 6 during a raid at a house outside of Issaquah.

Investigators arrived in the 12700 block of 195th Place Southeast at 10:30 a.m. to serve a search warrant. The house is about a half-mile southwest of Southeast May Valley Road and about seven miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

Inside, detectives discovered 536 plants in a collective grow operation for medical marijuana. Detectives did not arrest anybody in the raid, and later forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Though investigators noted more than 500 plants inside the house, detectives seized 401, due to compliance issues for medical marijuana under state law.

Washington law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces. Police said the occupants possessed expired paperwork for a medical marijuana operation.

Qualified patients “are allowed to have a certain amount per person, and it exceeded that, so that’s why some was taken and some was left behind,” said Sgt. Cindi West, sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

Deputies also seized cash and a handgun from the house. Investigators said a resident at the house is a felon and unable to own firearms.

West said a tip led investigators to the May Valley house.

Initiative 692, passed in 1998, allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. Under state law, physicians can recommend — but not prescribe — the drug for patients.

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