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Another Oregon Medical Marijuana ‘Dispensary’ Gets Raided

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smokey with chong

Smokey with his life long hero Tommy Chong

Smokey’s Lounge In Salem, Oregon Was Raided By Local Police

Smokey’s Lounge in Salem, Oregon was raided Tuesday, making it the third ‘official’ medical marijuana “dispensary” in Oregon to be raided. Unlike medical marijuana “dispensary” raids in other states, all three raids in Oregon were by locate police. However, unlike previous raids which were isolated to Washington County Oregon, this raid was in Marion County Oregon, multiple counties away. In Washington County, the sheriff’s office has gone rogue and has been harassing medical marijuana patients and entrepreneurs for quite some time now. But the raid in Salem is different.

The owners of Smokey’s lounge are my personal friends. I drove past their lounge often, and would even go in there to play arcade games and catch up with Smokey (real name is Ed Lara) from time to time. I actually drove past his lounge on Tuesday morning when I was on my way to the Capital Mall, and saw a police car out front, and a raid style van on the other side of the building. I immediately text my friend to make sure everything was OK. I never received a text back, which got me very worried. My worries were well founded. I drove back later in the day, and the raid was in full force.

The only major media report about this, so far, is from the legendary reporters at Salem-News.Com. Here is an excerpt from Bonnie King’s article:

Many people in South Salem were witness to the police action on 13th Street Tuesday at Smokey’s Lounge. For hours, police had the driveway blocked and were seen in and around the building taking photographs and by some accounts, intimidating onlookers.

Smokey’s had received multiple threatening letters from the feds, which I personally read. I won’t lie, I was a bit scared when I read the letters because of the language that was used. They weren’t generic letters that were sent to other dispensary owners that I knew; these were personal letters, which almost gave me nightmares and they weren’t even addressed to me! Smokey would often tell me that he wasn’t worried about the feds because he wasn’t doing anything wrong; he was simply helping patients. To prove his sincerity, Smokey teamed up with Oregon Green Free which is one of the oldest OMMP organizations in the state, if not the oldest. He let the organization have their meetings at the lounge free of cost.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t the feds that are attacking Smokey’s lounge. Under the disguise of an attempted burglary investigation, the cops then pursued a warrant for ‘probable cause’ and used the tactic to raid the lounge and charge Smokey and his girlfriend with 22 felonies combined. The police say that one of Smokey’s headshops was broken into, and when they were investigating that, they randomly decided to check all of Smokey’s other properties and ended up at his lounge. Hell of a hunch right? What’s weird to me, is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Smokey and his employees took all of the meds off site at the end of the day. How the police found anything that they would deem ‘felony worthy’ doesn’t make sense. If they indeed raided the lounge when it wasn’t open, they would have found nothing.

However, 22 felonies later, Smokey and his girlfriend are sitting in county jail, each assigned a half-million dollar bail. One of the charges for Smokey and Lupe were for possession of cocaine. If you have ever believed anything I have ever written on this site or others, believe me when I say that I know for a fact that neither of these two are cocaine consumers. I have been close friends with Smokey for over 20 years, I have smoked more marijuana with him than most other people on the planet have smoked in their life, and never, ever have I seen or heard of him doing cocaine. I’m not going to go as far as saying there is a conspiracy at hand, but I’m not saying this investigation is totally clean either. It smells very, very fishy.

Smokey is an Oregon icon. But don’t take my word for it, here is another excerpt from Bonnie King’s article for Salem-News.com:

Edward Lara, or Smokey, is a renowned glass blower from the Salem area. He’s been in business since 2002, an artisan entrepreneur who found his calling. His arrest was unsettling for scores of regular clients and patients, their faith in Oregon’s justice system brought into question combined with confusion about the many charges. Lara is well-known and respected in the canna-business community and has carved out a name for himself with an inventory of quality products.

One of my first interviews I ever did at TWB was actually with Smokey. It was before he owned his lounge, back when he had first moved from his headshop from it’s first location to downtown. I’m going to try to send some e-mails and texts to see if I can’t get more answers. I know his attorney pretty well, and if he feels comfortable passing me along some info, I will gladly update this article to reflect the new info. If you are a “dispensary” owner in Oregon, I would be on watch. As I said before, this raid did not involve the feds, it wasn’t in Washington County, and yet the “dispensary” was still ransacked. Will this happen to other “dispensaries” in Salem, and/or beyond? Only time will tell.

 

Go to NotDwightHolton.Com to find out why you should not vote for Dwight Holton for Oregon Attorney General, and ‘like’ the Not Dwight Holton Facebook Page!

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20 Comments

  1. Smokeysnovelties on

    what up man this is your old friend smokey thanks for your support and kind word’s i will do a story with you when the time is right..much love to all smokey’s supporter’s we love you all…

  2. David Mowers on

     Yeah well the “feds” will be involved since it is standard practice to inform local D.E.A. whenever possible federal laws have been broken and they will get a warrant and review all of his records for the I.R.S. and for future prosecutions against anyone who did business with him including glass bong sellers who are in violation of federal law every time they ship a product in this country. In addition since he was running an illegal medical marijuana business the owner of the properties (ALL of his stores) will be contacted by D.E.A. and Justice and threatened with seizure if they allow him to reopen. The property owners will get 45 days to comply or lose their property in civil action.

  3. Hurrinicaneangie on

    where is green free now,no donations.there is a account set up at wellsfargo,link on facebook

  4.  whos side are you on?…peeps like you are fence walkers you need to pick a side..cant have it both ways you two face fake person

  5. This guy was going the wrong way when he teamed up with OGF..where is OGF for him now? Just like they always are..looking out for them self! 

  6. Crazy Fun Mama on

    That is soooo true! I never got carded at the headshop either when i bought a glass piece!!! If he had followed the law he wouldnt be in jail! Hopefully the rest of the idiots running dispensaries here in salem will close down fast or they will be at their door next!!! Messure 74 failed so why in the hell would you run one?? And as a patient why in the hell would you risk yourself and your card by going into one?? Good people hell great people make poor choices sometimes and this is one of those!!! Its a lesson to be learned by all! Good luck with your case but i think salem pd did what was right. Even as a patient with cancer i still agree!!

  7. Crazy Fun Mama on

    They were running againt all state laws! I am an ommp patient andbibwouldnt go in there. There was a break in wednesday morning and the raid was wednesday not tuesday! The cocaine was found at his house not the shops! They surched the shops after finding illegal things going on at the lounge!! Im sorry i too believe he was a good person but he knew the laws and he choose to go against them when messure 74 failed! I am totally for getting the laws changed but that hasnt happened and until it does all dispensaries in oregon should be closed!! And no the dea raided ones in southern oregon and on the coast! So its not the first. It sucks how salem pd found out but they did what was right because they werent following the law!!!

  8. I’am a family member of Ed’s thanks for the supporting comments,not so sure the feds were not involved,the lancaster store will be open early next week.I have a comment for hightide in salem they posted flyers outside smokeys windows after it was raided advertising there store,They called the property manager to see if up for lease yet and are telling customers they are going to be moving into smokeys space hoping to take over customer base.smokeys is not out of business. That is tacky and says alot about the owner.Ed maybe on hold at the moment but he will get back on top

  9. this is unfair and unjust. they need to release him they got him on bullshit charges that ned to be dropd for god sake

  10. I have read that this bust was after hours so there was nothing at lounge. Well Eddy got arrested at 12:10 PM.
    Gee that’s just about opening time.WERE OGF FOR HIM NOW?

  11. Anyone who knows the lounge you should of also seen that there was cars with people sitting in lot of the old Welfare office across the street.
    Hello.TALK ON 3 WALK FREE COME TO MY MIND.

  12. Just because someone is a minor doesn’t mean they can’t be in the OMMP. As long as they have their parent’s consent they can get a card. I don’t know if that was the case with your friends or not, but I just wanted to clarify. Also, it probably wasn’t Ed that sold to the customers, since he was always overlooking his stores and other projects.

  13. The reason Eddy got busted is cause he was selling to anyone. I know this for a fact. My friends went in there all the time, he sold to 16 and 17 year olds. These are minors so they certianly dont have an ommp card! They bought anything they wanted and never got carded!
    Peace Eddy!

  14. Yes the pd loves to hide from site in the big & tall alley on lancaster and D st that cycle cop that hides on lancaster loves to hide where u can’t see him! That’s trapment but salem sheriff & pd never use rules in this town.

  15. Salem police are so lazy. The Meth and pills are everyplace. But its Warm and easy inside fake bust who is the moron judge that waste your tax money. Vote letters and vote no cut every pd measure we get! Waste our taxes no wonder oregon education and disabled get cut! Salem waste ur tax money thanks!

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