Cannabis Club Staff Designated as Officers of City of Oakland 8/14/98

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(reprinted from the NORML Foundation,

August 13, 1998, Oakland, CA: City officials designated employees of the local cannabis buyers' cooperative as Officers of the City of Oakland in a groundbreaking ceremony today.

Attorney Robert Raich said that the action immunizes the Oakland Cannabis Cooperative staff from federal criminal and civil liability. Section 885(d) of the Federal Controlled Substances Act provides that any officer of a city who is enforcing a local ordinance relating to controlled substances will be protected from criminal sanctions. Last month, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance recognizing that a "medical cannabis provider association ... may ... distribute safe and affordable medical cannabis."

"Because the ordinance relies on provisions of federal law, it may be replicated in cities throughout the country, not just in California or other states that may pass laws similar to Proposition 215," Raich said. City Council representative Nate Miley and Oakland Club attorneys also called today for a dismissal of all federal charges against the Cooperative. The club remains open in violation of a federal judge's decision to temporarily enjoin operations of six state medical marijuana dispensaries -- including the Oakland club -- named in a federal civil lawsuit.

"The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative runs a clean, legitimate business, contributes to Oakland's downtown revitalization, and prevents seriously ill people from turning to the streets to buy their medicine," said Miley. "We're delighted to offer the Cooperative all the support we can, and hope that other cities follow suit."

Jeff Jones, Executive Director of the Oakland Cooperative, praised the Council's decision to designate the club. "This is a great day for our patients and a great day for Oakland," he said.

"I think a lot of Oakland patients can breathe a big sigh of relief now," added Raich.

(For further information, contact Dale Gieringer of California NORML at (415) 563-5858, e-mail [email protected], or attorney Robert Raich at (510) 338-0700.

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Issue #54, 8/14/98 Study Comes Out Against Jailing of Women Who Use Drugs During Pregnancy | Canadian Member of Parliament to Introduce Motion on Heroin Trials | Australian Families and Friends Groups Hold "Voice Day" in Queensland, September 1st | Cannabis Club Staff Designated as Officers of City of Oakland | NIDA Ignores Own Experts' Advice to Provide Marijuana for Medical Research | Harm Reduction Conference in New Jersey | Conferences Coming Up | Editorial: An Injustice in California (Top)
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