The Seattle Police Department is making sure they put taxpayer funding to good use. They activated an entire SWAT team, armed with automatic weapons, to bust down a door and go after a medical marijuana patient. Because they just had to get at those two pot plants.
Just before 9:00 p.m., officers at SPD’s East Precinct held a briefing about the complaint of marijuana at a four-unit apartment building in the Leschi neighborhood. One week earlier, officers applied for a search warrant from King County Superior Court, sent an officer with a K9 to sniff at the door, confirmed the scent of marijuana, and were in the process last night of planning a raid. “Once the briefing was completed, officers donned their raid equipment clearly marked ‘Police’ on all sides,” according to a draft incident report filed by police.
A cadre of between six and nine officers ran up the stairs; some carried MP5 submachine guns, others held pistols, and at least one held the battering ram. They pounded on the apartment door and said it was the police.
“I was tying my robe,” says resident Will Laudanski, 50, who had just stepped out of the bathroom. “I said, ‘I am opening the door,’ but before I could get my hand to door, they busted it open and then rushed me. I was trying to comply. Then they pushed me down to the ground and just basically got me positioned in a corner of the kitchen with my face on the floor.”
And here’s what they found:
Officers began to search the apartment. Face down on the floor, Laudanski told police that he was an authorized medical marijuana patient, complying with a 1998 state law that allows people with certain medical conditions to possess and cultivate marijuana with a physician’s authorization. Laudanski directed officers to his physician’s authorization in the other room. “Do you want to see it?” he told the officers. The Department of Health decided recently that a patient could grow up to 15 plants.
He “had paperwork in this room declaring his marijuana grow was for medical purposes,” police acknowledge in the report. Then in the bedroom, “officers observed two marijuana plants that were each growing in pots.” …
Police didn’t take the pot plants.
“Clearly, in this case, there was no law violation that was discovered,” says Seattle Police spokesman Sean Whitcomb.
I bet you could have found that out by knocking on the guy’s door and asking him about the smell of pot the neighbors reported.