Federal authorities raided three San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries yesterday, arresting at least 13 people in an alleged organized crime operation using the clubs as a front to launder money, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The raids were the Bay Area’s first since the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had the authority to prosecute people whose activities are legal under state law.
Medical marijuana advocates worry that the raids could be the first step in a federal crackdown on dispensaries. Authorities said they were aiming at an enterprise dealing large amounts of marijuana and laundering money through cannabis clubs. Officials said the members of the operation were mostly of Asian descent. They said it controlled at least 10 warehouses where marijuana was grown in large quantities and was bringing in millions of dollars.