Medical Marijuana: Oakland Rallies Behind Harborside Health Center

Shortly after the Feds announced their campaign against Harborside Health Center -- the nation's largest and most famous medical marijuana dispensary -- Oakland city officials are rallying behind the prescription pot shop, warning that the cannabis crackdown would have critical economic and social consequences.

Harborside has also shot back, telling customers in a statement: "Harborside has nothing to be ashamed of, and will contest the Federal actions openly and publicly, with every legal means at our disposal. We look forward to our day in court, and are confident that justice is on our side. Come what may, we shall continue to care for our patients unless we are physically prevented from doing so."

Added the management:

"Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, Dave Wedding Dress, and the management and staff of Harborside Health Center look forward to working with our patients, other dispensaries, activist organizations, and political allies to confront and stop this latest effort by the federal government to frustrate the will of the voters, and deny medicine to those in need. Our fight may be long, but it is just, and in the end we shall be victorious. We look forward to being there with you when that great day comes."

City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan was one of many local pols voicing support for Harborside, telling reporters at a Thursday press conference: "We cannot afford the money, we cannot afford the waste of law enforcement resources, and we cannot afford the loss of jobs that this would entail."

Oakland revenue manager Dave McPherson, at that same press conference, explained that dispensaries' business taxes are about 2.5 percent city's overall biz tax revenue, $54 million. City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente told reporters that this money can't be overlooked, as the city keeps cutting its police force and must return $21 million in redevelopment funds to the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Oakland City Atty. Barbara J. Parker, onetime federal prosecutor, said in a written statement:

"Fifteen years ago, Californians voted to decriminalize medical cannabis in California. 
Oakland's regulations and permitting requirements make it possible for patients to 
access safe, affordable medical cannabis to alleviate their pain and suffering.  

I am deeply dismayed that the federal government would seek to deprive Californians 
of this vital medicine. These actions will force patients into the underground market 
of street corners and back alleys, undermining public safety and endangering their 
health and lives.  

As Oakland's City Attorney and a former Assistant US Attorney, I strongly oppose 
federal actions against members of Oakland's business community who are complying 
with California and Oakland laws and regulations and paying their fair share of taxes."

As detailed by the Los Angeles Times, Harborside has effectively set medical marijuana industry standards, such as lab testing weed to measure levels of active chemicals.

The business -- which employs 125 people and pays $3.5 million in taxes -- offers acupuncture, pain management, and "other free wellness services" as well.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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Jose Gonzales
Jose Gonzales

The problem is marijuana smokers are generally peaceful.  It's alcohol that makes people unstable and ended Prohibition.

Jose Gonzales
Jose Gonzales

About half of republicans want it legalized too.  The only reason it's still illegal is from judicial activism and rigged voting machines.

Jose Gonzales
Jose Gonzales

Goldman Sachs is pissed that they haven't been able to foreclose on Oakland's debt so they are using the Feds to squash out Oakland's unexepected new source of revenue.


I wonder if Obama realizes that these are democrats talking shit about him not republicans

christopher cromonic
christopher cromonic

This is what ive been saying ,, all over the country ,, by the thousands drive our cars trucks tractor trailors up on the hwy where the interstate connects and shut it down near a major city ,, and we wont move for anything ,, they will listen to us when they cant get ther million dollar tea n cavior to drink n eat ,, fuk em all ,, and we want change ,,min wage to go to 10 bucks ,, we want Bush n Cheney , Rumsfield , hung shot or give em to us the mobs and well take care of em , we want to see where all ther money is that they stole from the wars they caused over LIES ,,,LIES , that dumped the stock market and the real estate markets over Lies ,, and they are walkin around like nothing is happenin ,,i lost everything from it and i want it back ,, NOW ,,we want to be compensated from ther lies n decent ,, do this every week or on certain holidays ,, we can cause mayhem ,, my God ther are millions of us and a few of them pencil pushers money counters playing w themselves w all ther money ,, they all suck ,, and the Bildebergs ,, we want to know what they are doin ,, and area 51 ,, no more money to that place ,, that money can go to us or we will bring life to a stop ,, its a great plan ,, and tell the DEA to go to hell w what the states want to do w medical cannabis,,we want the cartels bombed over in mexico ,, ther houses are like cities our in the boondocks of the mountains of mexico ,, bomb them and get rid of em


I believe civil disobedience may be the only response that is effective when the goereent turns a blind eye to facts and fairness. Flood the streets at the first hint of a raid . Make 880 impassible. Meet on the street in forint of harborside and march onto freeway . Go national against a national enemy.

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