For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2012 11 AM
Thousands of Patients Threatened to Lose Safe Access
U.S. Attorney & DEA Threaten
Harborside Health Center Landlords
Property Forfeiture Filed in District Court of San Francisco
Invitation to Attend Press Conference
Oakland, California – Thursday July 12th at 9 AM – Oakland City Hall
With Appearances and Statements by Patients, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, State Board of Equalization & City Officials, Union Officials, Arturo Sanchez, LEAP Officers, Rebecca Kaplan and Other Statewide Officials
July 12, 2012 â€“ Oakland, California – The federal attack on safe access for medical cannabis patients continues. Yesterday morning, taped to the front doors of the nationâ€™s model medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland and San Jose, was an official ‘Complaint for Forfeiture of Property.’ The complaint is signed by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvan Perteet, and DEA Agent David White, filed on July 6, 2012, in the District Court San Francisco Division and received by the court on Sunday, July 9. The complaint seeks forfeiture of real estate and improvements on the grounds that cannabis is being distributed on the premises, in violation of federal law.
This latest federal action to seize property flies in the face of promises made by Haag to exclusively target dispensaries less than 1000 feet from a school, and recent statements from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who stated that only those dispensaries out of compliance with state law would be subject to Federal enforcement actions. Harborside Health Center is neither close to a school, nor out of compliance with state law. The location at 1840 Embarcadero is more than 1000 feet from the closest school, and Harborside is widely recognized as the most legally compliant dispensary in the state, and renowned nationwide.
â€œHarborside has nothing to hide or be ashamed of,” said Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center. “We will contest the DOJ action openly and in public, and through all legal means at our disposal. We look forward to our day in court, and are confident that justice is on our side.â€
Harborside Health Center employs over 100 people, and is Oaklandâ€™s second largest retail tax payer. Last year, HHC paid combined taxes in excess of $3 million, over a million dollars of which went directly to the City of Oakland. Should Harborside be forced to close:
Our 100,000 patients will return to the illegal marketplace
Street drug sales and law enforcement costs will both rise
Over $3,000,000 in tax revenue will be destroyed
Our more than 100 current employees will become jobless
â€œThis is a policy that hurts not only those who depend on cannabis for medicine. It will destroy tax revenue, endanger patients, increase unemployment, and empower criminals. Whoever thinks this is a good idea must be smoking something a lot more powerful than cannabis,â€ said DeAngelo.
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Well. Let’s hope that they stepped on their dicks good. I’m guessing the City of Oakland, regardless of what they think of MMJ, is going really hate losing that revenue… and DiAngello…well, people kinda know about him. He’s been on the TeeVee.
In my personal fantasy, I see Oakland cops blocking the Feds at Harborside’s front door, but that’s as likely as my dog laying an egg.
Oh well. It’s like I keep trying to explain to my wife…what’s life without a little fantasy? 😉
Actually, the SFPD do not have the authority to block the feds, but the Alameda County Sheriff DOES have that kind of authority. If the current Sheriff, there, is honest and lives up to is oath of office, he WILL block the feds from any action on Harborside, since the feds are not in compliance with the Constitution on the issue.
I guess George Wallace should have sent in the sheriff instead of trying to do it himself. Was that in 1966 or 1967?
A friend of mine got a picture with him at Hash Bash this year! I got stuck in traffic, so I got there too late 🙁
Why Doesn’t Harbor Side accept and grow hemp as well, and not just medical? Harbor Side can give the hemp away to the U.S. military (since rumor has it we were attacked on 9/11 and have been at war since) in the form of hemp rope, canvas, clothing, heart-healthy foods etc -this way if the DEA go after them, they’ll be going after people growing Hemp for Victory -something which was legal during WWII and by precedents of law and history, still is legeal . . . there are no federal laws banning the growing of hemp during a time of war. Only a Muslim Terrorist would bust a place growing military hemp in America.
Federal attacks on dispensaries in CA are determined by a complex formula. Do local authorities support or object? Will local media be friendly or not? How big is the operation? How much do they promote themselves? Are they vulnerable? Exactly how? Have they been asking for it? Are we currently targeting that county? And so on. Harborside was big enough years ago but they were in a very friendly locality. The Feds have been emboldened by the ease with which the forfeiture law has closed dispensaries. Property has high value that no landlord is prepared to sacrifice. Civil forfeiture requires far less cost for the Federal DA. Federal laws are an unstoppable steamroller to States and localities. The Law is clear. Is this happening here? Yes. Then we can do this and no one can stop us.
The weird thing is whether they will go on to every last dispensary in the state, and if not, why not? Then, how big is too big? Why should that matter? Even with this campaign requiring fewer resources to pursue, does it not take anything away from more serious prosecution efforts?
And to think that Prop19 would have prevented the Feds from doing what they’re doing.
Legal MJ in CA = Feds hands off. A very simple equation…and a very loud and clear message would have been sent, and the Feds would have had to go elsewhere for their entertainment.
19 wasn’t perfect, but most baby steps are stumbling ones, anyway. But it would have made a huge crimp in the Feds’ plans.
Given the amorally calculating-to-the-last-decimal-point nature of this Administration, the Obama DoJ would have read a balance sheet and realized going against the express political will of an entire State that (re)legalized wouldn’t be worth it. Going after ‘his’ bankster buddies would have been safer than piss off an entire State come Election Day.
But now? Smoooooooth sailing for the Feds. The road was made nice and free of obstructions, thanks to 19 not passing. Dispensaries, some of whom worked against Prop19, are falling left and right. Patients who were told by those dispensaries to vote against Prop19 and did so are now without their legit meds and have to go back to black-market uncertainties. The DA’s are no-doubt chortling and smiling beatifically behind their hands at the misery they’re causing…while their black market symbionts are likewise celebrating. Divide and conquer…and some of ours fell for it, and cost their neighbors and the rest of us plenty.
Might not have been such a good idea for some growers and dispensaries to have worked against 19, huh? They only enjoyed their ‘victory’s profits until the Feds came calling with sledgehammers. Feet, meet bullets. A lesson for all of us: pass any relegalization legislation in your State, no matter how much it smells, as it can’t match the stink of spilled blood and the fear and pain the Feds will cause you if you don’t.
Well, we still have the hope of Colorado & Washigton state come November. Perhaps the feds have overplayed this one and these two states and it’s citizens will see the peril of not legalizing….we can only hope.
The Feds have been shutting the doors of our dispensaries here in Washington, too. So we’ve had continuous reminders of just how fragile the MMJ system here is. A bunch of dispensary owners and backers had been working against I-502. I haven’t heard much from them recently. Probably since they are suddenly no longer dispensary owners, but rather, defendants.
Legalizing by initiative sure would take some heat off of MMJ. Suddenly the dispensaries become their last problem.
I can’t seem to convince people that the lady is capable of fixing all “bad”laws written in the effort to legalize,,look how far she has come already and just by spreading the knowledge and the herb,,,lighting up and searching for knowledge is just another advantage of pot.
“A bunch of dispensary owners and backers had been working against I-502. I havenâ€™t heard much from them recently. Probably since they are suddenly no longer dispensary owners, but rather, defendants.”
We are getting the same back lash from the medical marijuana businesses and everyone who is to gain financially not medically from the gray market of medical marijuana! We see a division from a small group of activists… tokeofthetown comes to mind as a forum for the “NO on I 502” crowd! I 502 is not perfect but for the same reasons we see down in southern California its important to move legalization forward and tweak I 502 after its passed! I’m a Washington State Resident who believes in medical marijuana but most importantly the right that all adults should be able to grow and smoke their own!
Add Oregon to that list, too, I think. I’m pretty certain their legalization issue will be on their ballot, too. (Allan?)
And why the hell do OR and WA not recognize each other’s MMJ licenses? Their MMJ laws are nearly identical.
From Paul Stanford:
The signatures from the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act finished the first round of verification of voter’s registration today. It is likely that tomorrow the Oregon Secretary of State will announce that OCTA has made the ballot and is now Oregon’s Ballot Measure 80. OCTA, upon passage at the ballot box on November 6th, will legalize hemp and regulate marijuana. Oregon joins Washington state’s I-502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64 to vote on varying proposals to end adult cannabis prohibition. Four months until the vote for the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana.
So… we’re likely to have one on the ballot, maybe two, but no one is quite sure yet. The OMPI may be going to court in a suit against the Sec of State over her invalidating too many petition sig sheets. When I hear more I’ll let ya know
What might the underlying reason be for the federal government to drive LEGAL medicinal users back into the cartel controlled drug markets. I understand about the big lobbies for prison, police, alcohol and pharmaceuticals… but it seems something more sinister here is at work – for a government who is elected and sworn to protect it’s citizens – to put legitimate patients so blantantly into harms way. Am I missing something here?….any ideas?
Its called lies. Holder and the US Attorneys are lying about their priorities and agenda.
Far as I know the US has recommitted to UN treaties favoring a criminalization approach to drugs, and marijuana is right in there on the list.
Lots of doublespeak on this. Lots of politicians talking out the sides of their mouths. Lies. Lots of lies.
It is clearly treason for the government of these uSofA, to sign onto ANY treaty that undermines the Constitution. This administration is about to do that with the Small Arms Treaty (would nullify the 2nd Amendment) and past administrations signed onto the UN’s drug war. Laws concerning what individual citizens may ingest are also clearly unconstitutional (the Constitution does not give the fed gov authority over the lives of the citizenry, it only authorizes the fed gov to deal with 3 crimes — treason, piracy on the high seas, and counterfeiting). So, why is no one suggesting these politicians, including the president and Sec of State, who are willingly going along with these treasonous treaties being tried in the People’s court of law, found guilty and sentenced to the proper sentence for treason (death by hanging, or is it firing squad?)?
My dream is that Obama would use this opportunity to reclassify marijuana via executive order, much as he did for gays in the military. It sure would net him alot of campaign money!!! He is fundraising now ya know.
That would make too much sense. It should happen that way if Obama thought it mattered. He thinks he can divide and conquer on the drug war issues. Dragged all of California away on the gay issue.
He isn’t doing what would be the obvious thing to gain the favor of the legalization issues in the public eye.
Bottom line, dream on – you can do anything in a dream. When you wake up, don’t get startled when you find nothing has changed.
All it takes is the 9th District Court to rule in favor of the ASA petition to reschedule cannabis,,no blame to Obama from the Republicans and it buys a lot of ex-supporters animosity off.
And if I am not mistaken,,the ruling of this court cannot be ignored as the DEA did Judge Young in 1988,,anyone know for sure?
I don’t really know Clay but it sounds like the beginnings of a long mess that potentially could end up going to the Supreme Court
I don’t think it requires an executive order. All he had to do is instruct the DEA to reclassify it. I am ashamed as a more libertarian kind of person to have fallen for all of the civil liberties and drug war propaganda from “NObama” the first time. Never again will I be fooled.
I’m sure Ms. Haag is quaking in her boots. A PRESS CONFERENCE!!!! OOOHHH, scary! That will surely make her think twice.
I have a feeling that she couldn’t care less about what state or local officials say in some press conference. She’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. With Harborside’s assets, that is.
The only thing that will stop her harassment is an executive order from the president. And that ain’t gonna happen.
Sometimes all of this just makes you feel like you are banging your head up against a wall.
and he needs to hear it. He’ll be hitting the college crowd hard, because he’s losing them, c’mon Aaron and all you SSDPers find out when and where and be there!
In ’08 he had what 95% of the black vote? Now it’s way down (tho’ the image of Mittens standing before the NAACP and saying “I’m the white guy gonna save you” was sure a hoot) and we have our foot in the NAACP door. Let them hear from us.
Same w/ the gay community… dog knows… a large part of that population surely must smoke a fair share of herb…
And Mr Obama? if he doesn’t hear from those who DID vote for him but sure ain’t gonna now… then we’ll get what we get.
We need a third party candidate to bring ending the drug war and legalizing marijuana into the presidential debate so these two Corporate cronies have to discuss the issue in public and defend it in a presidential debate.
Then, you will see sparks finally fly.
How do we get him included in the debates?
He needs to reach 15 percent in national polling. He is somewhere between 5-9% now.
Support Johnson/Gray in every poll,,regardless of your intended vote,,get them into the televised debates and force both parties to defend marijuana prohibition,,something neither wants to do.
I found this.
Gary Johnson Supporters Plan Protest at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta
Some good reporting from the Los Angeles Times: California medical marijuana operation targeted by feds.
US “drug policy,” from start to finish, hurts not just people who “depend on cannabis for medicine.” It shatters families, destroys tax revenue, endangers everyone, increases unemployment, makes a mockery of law enforcement and empowers criminals. It is nothing but a system of laws enacted and enforced for the sole purpose of furthering the careers of lawmakers and law enforcers by destroying the lives of those they are elected to serve and sworn to protect. Anyone who thinks they’re going to “reform” such massive evil by increments is delusional.
Oh, and that statement about “smoking something more powerful than marijuana” is taken straight from a prohibitionist how-to manual. It’s demeaning and unworthy of someone who pretends to believe in freedom.
It’s about time our country recognized that a lot of Americans like to get high with something other than alcohol. If the government really wanted to make people safe then it would legalize every recreational drug that’s safer than booze.
That would retain alcohol as the most harmful recreational drug you can legally buy, and at the same time would give people the option of legally choosing drugs that are safer than alcohol – and that’s definitely NOT something we can do today.
If the government really wants to keep us safe then why is it bending over backwards to make us unsafe?
Our government cares nought for our saftey. The drug war creates a perfect agenda for the feds to whittle away more of our constitutional rights – in the name of our saftey of course. The ultimate goal is the full implementation of a police state in which the government controls EVERYTHING we do. This is the precursor for eventual (soon to be) world government.