Feds raid marijuana ‘university’ in Oakland

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, April 2, 2012 14:18 EDT
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A man holds a bundle of marijuana in his hands. Photo: AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com
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An Oakland medical marijuana training facility, which billed itself as the nation’s only marijuana university, was raided by federal agents on Monday morning, leaving the building swarming with law enforcement and taped off from all visitors.

It’s not yet clear what the specific charges are, but it’s probably unsurprising that the country’s largest operation training medical marijuana professionals would be targeted by federal law enforcement.

Reports from local media noted that agents were seen walking from Oaksterdam University with large bags overflowing with marijuana. It is not clear if Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee was taken into custody.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers were accompanied by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents during the raid, according to the Sacramento chapter of Americans for Safe Access.

U.S. Attorneys have been using the IRS and DEA in conjunction of late, needling many shops into closing by peering into their finances, and pulling out the bulletproof vests and shotguns when that’s not enough.

Oaksterdam University may have been targeted due to the volume of marijuana being cultivated there. The threshold for a mandatory minimum federal sentence of 5 years is reached when an individual can be charged with cultivating 100 plants or more. It’s not yet clear how many plants were discovered by federal agents.

Photo: AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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