In a SoDo warehouse tonight, a state senator and city council member slammed the Seattle Police Department's armed raid on Monday of a legal medical marijuana patient who had only two small plants.

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Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Nick Licata
  • Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Nick Licata

"I apologize for the city for allowing this to happen," said City Council Member Nick Licata, at a packed forum about fortifying the state's weak medical-marijuana law in next year's legislature. Licata vowed that he and his staff "are going to dig into this and work to make sure this doesn't happen again."

A search warrant shows SPD never suspected sales, trafficking, or any other crime at Will Laudanski's Leschi apartment; police only smelled pot plants at the residence as the basis for breaking open the door with guns drawn. Licata said, "I think it is ridiculous that this happened."

Meanwhile, Democratic state senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (representing Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard) called the raid on Laudanski—who was in the audience—"totally inexcusable. Will could have been shot."

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The forum was hosted by the Cannabis Defense Coalition (CDC), a medical-marijuana advocacy group, to discuss Kohl-Welles sweeping bill to strengthen Washington's medical-marijuana law next year. She wants to ban arrests of authorized patients, allow group cultivation, and permit medical marijuana dispensaries. "I am going to work to get something that is so much better than what we have now and what I believe is the best [medical-marijuana law] in the country," she told the crowd.

CDC director Ben Livingston announced the group would pay to fix or replace Laudanski's door, which was badly damaged by SPD's battering ram.

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