Until federal drug agents arrested him last month, Shon Squier was one of Hayward, Calif.’s most successful and generous young businessmen, reports the Los Angeles Times. Customers lined up outside his downtown storefront, particularly on Mondays, when he offered free samples to the first 50 visitors. Business was so good that Squier, a former construction worker, was able to donate more than $100,000 to local charities. But Squier’s success as a dynamic medical marijuana entrepreneur was also his downfall. Federal drug agents raided his home and business, arresting Squier and his store manager, freezing bank accounts containing $1.5 million and confiscating several expensive cars, motorcycles and $200,000 in cash.
Medical marijuana advocates claim the raid constitutes unfair, selective enforcement by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the estimated 170 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, including 85 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Just down the street, another medical marijuana dispensary, not as big or as flashy as Squier’s, was left untouched by the DEA agents in the Dec. 11 raid. The federal drug agency, which does not recognize California laws legalizing the sale of marijuana to patients with doctor’s prescriptions, contends the amount of money involved proves that the medical marijuana trade is nothing more than high-stakes drug dealing.