Quantcast
Connect with us

California ‘marijuana superstore’ wins four-year legal battle after feds abandon push to close it

Published

on

The dismissal releases the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the US from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana

The largest licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the US, once dubbed the “marijuana superstore”, has won a four-year legal battle with federal prosecutors who tried to shutter its Oakland and San Jose pot shops.

The government on Tuesday withdrew its forfeiture action intended to close down Harborside Health Center. The dismissal releases the dispensary from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana.

Steve DeAngelo, Harborside’s executive director, hailed the move as a signal of “the beginning of the end of federal prohibition”.

Though California became the first state to legalize medical pot after voters approved a ballot measure in 1996, federal law enacted by Congress in 1970 puts marijuana in the same category as heroin, finds it has no medicinal value, and prohibits its prescription under any circumstance.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 2012, then-US attorney Melinda Haag targeted Harborside as part of a crackdown on what she perceived as a flourishing network of illegal pot suppliers operating under the cover of California’s medical marijuana laws.

But Harborside representatives, customers, and Oakland officials have praised the center as a model for compassionately distributing medical marijuana to sick patients while pumping tax dollars into municipal coffers.

Opened in 2006, Harborside was the subject of the hit reality series Weed Wars. It serves more than 1,000 people a day in Oakland and in a sister San Jose dispensary and employs 150 people, DeAngelo said.

ADVERTISEMENT

When Haag filed the legal action four years ago, she described Harborside as a “marijuana superstore”. It is 8,000 square feet, and the Oakland store last year took in $28m – enough to make it the second largest retail taxpayer in Oakland, a fact not lost on officials in a city that’s struggled to find money to staff its police department.

Oakland officials said they preferred to regulate and tax the cannabis industry rather than drive it onto street corners, and the city sued the federal government to keep Harborside open.

Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for US attorney Brian Stretch in San Francisco, confirmed that the government dismissed its legal action seeking to close Harborside. Nonetheless, he added that his office would “continue to exercise its discretion in deciding where and how to enforce the Controlled Substances Act”.


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

Breaking Banner

Florida cop runs down joy-riding black teen on bicycle — then officers shock him with a Taser

Published

on

Florida police chased down a joy-riding black teenager, struck the bicycle he was riding and then violently arrested him after he fled in terror.

Jaydon Stubbs and four friends were riding July 17 on their way to Hollywood Beach when an officer spotted the teens in an area where there had been a string of recent burglaries, reported WPLG-TV.

The officer saw the boys popping wheelies and ignoring traffic laws, so she tried to stop them for questioning -- but they split up and rode away from her.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here’s how Boris Johnson is already shaping up to be Britain’s Trump

Published

on

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson, former British Foreign Secretary and leader of the Conservative Party, secured the votes in Parliament to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is an outcome that was long considered likely — and it creates parallels with the 2016 election of President Donald Trump in the United States, as there are a great many similarities between the politics and styles of these two men, notes NPR.

First, and most obviously, both men are brusque right-wing populists who have made controlling immigration their core issue on the political stage — in Trump's case it is building the wall, while in Johnson's case it is implementing Brexit.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Substitute teacher found guilty of accidentally shooting first-grader when his knife fired his gun

Published

on

A former substitute teacher was convicted on misdemeanor charges after a knife in his pocket accidentally fired a gun inside a first-grade classroom in Alabama.

Henry Rex Weaver was convicted Monday of possession of a firearm in a prohibited place, reckless endangerment, and third-degree assault, reported AL.com.

One student was struck by a fragment from the bullet in the March 22 incident at Blountsville Elementary School.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image
Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image