Larry, 43, came up empty handed today while looking to buy medical marijuana at the Seattle Cross for his HIV-related pain.
  • E.S.
  • Larry, 43, came up empty handed today while looking to buy medical marijuana for his HIV-related pain at the Seattle Cross.

The Seattle Cross, closed.
  • E.S.
  • The Seattle Cross, closed.
Around 10:30 a.m. this morning, Marc Zemel, an environmental lawyer with the Central District law firm Smith & Lowney, noticed some mysterious unmarked vehicles parked outside his offices, located near Madison and 24th. Then he saw "what looked like DEA agents in black," one with a bullet proof vest on.

Zemel's office shares a wall with the Seattle Cross, a medical marijuana dispensary that's now locked up with a "Closed" sign on the door.

He told me that he heard the DEA agents announce they had a warrant, and then saw them carrying out large desktop computers and big plastic garbage bags full of marijuana. Then, he said, "they drove off in a quasi-caravan, and that was it." (Another observer told me he read the warrant, and that it was very broadly written. This observer also said the DEA agents pulled carefully cultivated marijuana plants, intentionally separated by strain, out of their pots and threw them haphazardly into the garbage bags.)

"They're very respectable, no burden at all," Zemel said of his neighbors.

As we were speaking a man walked up to the Seattle Cross, pulled on the closed door, and then walked away, confused.

I caught up with the man at a nearby bus stop. He gave his name as Larry, and said he's 43 years old and uses medical marijuana for pain associated with his HIV.

"They got raided?" Larry said, astonished, when I told him what I'd heard. "You're kidding!"

Larry took the bus down from Everett to buy pot at the Seattle Cross today—because, he said, there aren't any dispensaries in Everett and the Seattle Cross had "the cheapest prices in town and the best bud."

He used to take Oxycodone and methadone to control his HIV-related pain, and is grateful to now have a medical marijuana card that allows him to easily substitute weed. "Since getting my authorization, I don't take any opiate pain relievers anymore," he told me.

Larry's next move: Find a medical marijuana dispensary nearby that isn't shut down.