Quantcast
Connect with us

World’s largest pot shop can stay open in Oakland, judge rules

Published

on

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A medical marijuana dispensary billed as the world’s largest cannabis store may stay open while the city of Oakland fights a U.S. government effort to shut it down or seize the property, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

There has been a tug-of-war in California between federal and local authorities over cannabis sold for purported health reasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

In February, Magistrate Maria-Elena James, the same judge who ruled on Wednesday, said the city had no right to intervene in a federal prosecutor’s civil-forfeiture action against the Harborside Health Center, which was featured on the Discovery Channel reality TV show “Weed Wars.”

The city appealed the ruling, and James’s latest order allows the dispensary to continue to sell marijuana to individuals carrying a doctor’s recommendation while the appeal is under review. James called the question of Oakland’s legal standing in the case “a matter of significant public interest.”

Attorney Cedric Chao, who is representing the city in the case, called the ruling “very significant.”

“The court has recognized that Oakland has legitimate interests in protecting its residents’ health, in promoting public safety, and in protecting the integrity of its legislative framework for the regulation of medical cannabis,” Chao said.

“Today’s order, coming right before the July Fourth holiday, reminds us all that one of the strengths of our country is its independent judiciary.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Harborside’s landlords have moved to evict the store under pressure from federal prosecutors, who have threatened to seize the property as part of a U.S. government crackdown on what it deems to be illegal pot shops in California.

The city of Oakland in October sued the federal government in an effort to allow Harborside to continue selling marijuana to its 100,000 patients. Oakland officials warned that a shutdown would lead to a “health crisis.”

The city expects to collect $1.4 million in medical-pot sales tax revenue this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco was not immediately available for comment.

Federal authorities in recent years have launched a crackdown in California and other states against what prosecutors consider an illegal network of cannabis suppliers established under state medical marijuana laws.

ADVERTISEMENT

California was the first to legalize pot for medical purposes, and nearly 20 other states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar statutes, though marijuana is classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law.

(Editing by Steve Gorman, Toni Reinhold)

[Image via Flickr user Spot Us, Creative Commons licensed]

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Schumer is the Devil!’ Screaming pro-Trump protester storms the Senate gallery before being seized by Capitol police

Published

on

On Wednesday, during the second night of arguments in the impeachment trial, the Senate chamber was startled by a screaming protester — evidently opposed to removal of President Donald Trump — charging the gallery before being seized and thrown out by Capitol police.

The protester, who reportedly was shouting about abortion and calling on senators to dismiss the charges, was ordered ejected from the chamber by Chief Justice John Roberts. He continued to shout as he was being removed from the premises.

A protester just burst into the Senate gallery, Gallery 5, across chamber from the dais, yelling something like "Jesus Christ! They're trying to overturn the election!" Capitol Police instantly grabbed him and pulled him out to the hall. Yelling continued. #impeachmenttrial

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mitch McConnell just gave Democrats a huge gift — by publicly tainting any acquittal of Trump: columnist

Published

on

It seems all but inevitable that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will end with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mustering the votes to block conviction, no matter what the evidence says and no matter whether Democrats successfully bring in new witnesses and documents.

But McConnell has already handed a victory to Democrats in one key aspect, wrote columnist E. J. Dionne for the Washington Post. His handling of the trial has removed any possibility that impeachment will bolster the president's approval — and emboldened Democrats to take their case to the American people as hard as they can. Indeed, wrote Dionne, Democrats "owe a debt" to McConnell.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Here is how Jason Crow ‘pulled rank’ on John Roberts — and exposed the Chief Justice’s bias

Published

on

Former Army Ranger Jason Crow repeatedly drew upon his experience serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his prosecution of President Donald Trump as an impeachment manager.

Crow, who was awarded the Bronze Star and retired as a Captain, attended law school after his military service before successfully winning a seat in Congress during the 2018 midterm elections.

Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation magazine, explained how Crow pulled rank on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Mystal broked down how Crow put Roberts in his place with the subtle question of whether senators were getting restless and needed a break.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image