Police raid marijuana operation in downtown Issaquah home
November 28, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012
Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.
Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.
Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
Behrbaum said the grow operation was connected to a medical marijuana operation based in Seattle.
Under state law, medical marijuana is legal, but the law caps the number of plants per collective garden and a city ordinance limits locations for medical marijuana cultivation.
The state 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.
Washington voters recently passed Initiative 502 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. The law is poised to go into effect Dec. 6, but officials said the Washington State Liquor Control Board could take up to a year to establish rules for growing, processing, selling and possessing marijuana.
“Even though there are rules, they are still gray,” Behrbaum said.
In the days after I-502 passed, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg dismissed 175 cases involving people 21 and older for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, and King County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped arresting people caught with 1 ounce or less of marijuana.
Issaquah police officers do not plan to enforce the law retroactively, as the prosecutor’s and sheriff’s offices decided to do.
Initiative 692, passed in 1998, allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana.