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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - Page updated at 06:50 PM

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Feds seize medical marijuana taken in Seattle raid

The federal government has gotten involved in the case of a medical marijuana patient support group that was raided recently by Seattle police.

SEATTLE —

The federal government has gotten involved in the case of a medical marijuana patient support group that was raided recently by Seattle police.

According to the Seattle Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has taken control of the marijuana seized during the raid on the Lifevine cooperative two weeks ago.

That raid made headlines largely because police seized hundreds of medical marijuana patient files. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg declined to press charges against the man who runs the group, Martin Martinez, and had the files returned to him. But Seattle police didn't immediately return the 12 ounces of dried marijuana bud or several pounds of less-potent leaves, and the DEA took that last Friday.

Martinez's lawyer, Douglas Hiatt, had asked the police department to return the marijuana, arguing that Martinez had a legal right to it under Washington's medical marijuana law. However, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan asked the DEA to take it and destroy it.

"Accordingly, the DEA has seized and processed the marijuana for destruction; that concludes this matter," the agency said Wednesday in a statement released by Seattle-based spokeswoman Jodie Underwood.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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