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Harborside and the Feds' Failed Medical Marijuana Communications

Harborside is in the news again today. Two weeks ago we noted the premiere (and largest) dispensary had won a battle in state court. Facing threats by federal authorities over Harborside's marijuana distribution, their landlord attempted to evict them, only to be rebuffed by a judge because she had authorized Harborside to engage in exactly that business there in the lease.

Harborside video
Today a federal judge began hearing three related motions on the matter, according to NBC Los Angeles -- two from the landlord's lawyers asking to evict them, one from the City of Oakland opposing those motions, asking they be stayed until their own effort to stop the federal government's forfeiture proceeding on the property gets heard.

"We invited (U.S. Attorney) Melinda Haag to come to Harborside to tour to take a look at the way we do things," Harborside Executive Director Steve DeAngelo said Thursday outside court [according to NBC]. "Because I think the federal government should be studying Harborside not trying to close us down. We've developed a great model for responsible and legitimate distribution of cannabis."
 

According to the LA Times, the city's lawsuit "contends that federal prosecutors missed a five-year statute of limitations to seize Harborside's properties and misled Oakland officials with a 'pattern of false promises' that they would not go after dispensaries that were complying with state and local laws." The feds in turn say they've always reserved the right to go after any dispensary, and dismissed attorneys' arguments about the needs of patients who will be driven to the illicit market.

Those issues will in all likelihood be decided based on the technical legal merits, and we've known all along we faced tough prospects in the courts, especially since the Raich ruling. Still, the city's arguments, whether legally persuasive or not, are accurate. Obama administration officials did mislead the city -- the country -- about their intentions with regard to state medical marijuana laws. Whether they did so deliberately or through mere inconsistency is irrelevant. When Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked the attorney general to make the administration's intentions toward marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado known, the unspoken corollary is how inappropriately they've handled communications about medical marijuana. That's bad enough when a business or city gets harmed. But some of the victims are in prison or dead.

Haag must see that she is on the losing side of history by now. The question is how much carnage she and her cohorts will inflict by holding out. It would be better to have some reason from the feds sooner rather than later -- some reason and some decency.

P.S. Watch why Scott Morgan considers Harborside The Best Place in the World to Buy Marijuana:

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Drug war no longer needed

The main reason to conduct the drug war was to have a pretense to violate constitutional rights.  With the new war on terror, they have the same powers as before and new ones added.  The government is now in a perpetual state of war with permanent war powers.

The entire drug war machine

The entire drug war machine was built with one objective in mind,,keep hemp off the open market and they are succeeding even if they allow marijuana possession while restricting production of marijuana to keep large outdoor grows illegal,,indoor grows will keep hemp banned and that is their main goal and has been all along.

The loss of hemp prohibition will end the ONDCP,NIDA and the DEA and shrink nearly every bureaucracy in our government,,,and a bureaucrats first responsibility is to insure the growth of his budget,,smaller budgets are a a signal of doom to bureaucrats.

While the corporations that exist only because of prohibition are staunch supporters of prohibition the original industries that financed the Tax Act in 1937 still exist and are some of the richest corporations in the world now,because of hemp prohibition  and they still want it prohibited to protect they're profits.

Americans wouldn't even know what nylon and rayon is except for hemp prohibition.

Please address tobacco cigarette industry bias by bureaucrats

Good summary by Claygooding but add the fact that US taxing governments collect $44.5 BILLION in $igarette taxe$ yearly (according to an R. J. Reynolds website) of which according to Allen St. Pierre/NORML some $20 BIL is used to finance "law enforcement" to suppress cannabis.  Meanwhile mentioning yearly $193 BIL US economic health and productivity costs of $igarettes might be enough to make Boehner, Obama et al. consider legalizing cannabis as a way to reduce child recruitment into njcotine addiction "before we go over the Cliff".  

  I go to harborside all the

 

 

I go to harborside all the time, its only about 5 miles from my house and it is so much better than any other medical club around.  I know they will win this fight it will take time.

Classic example

The whole Harborside raid was a classic example of just how treacherous the Obama administration has been on the whole cannabis issue.They gave everyone the impression that as long as they followed state law they would have no problems from federal authorities.Then they hit harborside for being too successful?I thought their concept was that places were too big to fail?Not that they were too big,period.How is anyone supposed to have any faith in the law,when the law is so uncertain?When you don't know what the rules are,how can you be expected to follow them?Drug prohibition has been the number one cause of the breakdown in respect for law and order and the people who enforce it.Where is the difference between the alcohol prohibition and this drug prohibition?Both were the cause of the total breakdown of respect for the law.So why does the drug prohibition drag on?It's certainly not because of any successes.

The only reason...

The only reason it continues (and the only way to figure it out) is 'follow the money'.

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