- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Justice Department Continues Prosecution Of Harborside Health Center


harborside health center medical marijuanaHarborside Health Center, located in Oakland, California, is the largest medical marijuana dispensary on the planet. In every measurable way they are playing by the rules that they are governed by. They have a license from the City of Oakland, which likes the dispensary very much. The dispensary is well regulated and is willing to jump through just about every hoop they are asked about. Congress de-funded medical marijuana raids in the last budget, and the Obama administration has issued guidelines that call for respecting medical marijuana businesses if they are in a state that has legalized medical marijuana. But, despite all of this, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag continues her war against Harborside Health Center, and still seeks to shut it down. Per the Huffington Post:

Lawyers for U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag appeared in court Tuesday in an effort to shut down a medical marijuana collective in Oakland, California, despite federal guidance discouraging U.S. prosecutors from going after state-legal cannabis operations.

“There was quite a bit of head-scratching,” Tamar Todd, director of marijuana law and policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, told The Huffington Post of Tuesday’s hearing, which she attended. “The Department of Justice has repeatedly said to back off these cases. Why pick this fight?”

Haag first targeted Harborside Health Center, a $25-million-a-year business widely considered to be the nation’s largest marijuana dispensary, in July 2012 on grounds that the facility had grown too big. Later that year, attorneys representing the city of Oakland sued to block Haag’s actions, arguing that Harborside is an asset to the community and that closing it may create a public health crisis. The case is now being argued before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Below is a reaction to Tuesday hearing from Harborside Health Center:

City of Oakland to Argue: City has standing to sue the Federal Government to avert public health and safety crisis.

In July 2012, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag launched a federal civil forfeiture suit to seize the properties where Harborside Health Center is located, as part of a larger crackdown on California’s medical cannabis law. In October, 2012, the City of Oakland sued to block the civil forfeiture suit on the grounds it would cause a public heath and safety crisis. A lower court ruling in 2013 dismissed  Oakland vs. Eric Holder, Jr. , and the City’s appeal of that ruling is now before the 9th Circuit.

Haag Persists After Holder Kills Civil Forfeiture Program

Just two weeks ago, Eric Holder ended a federal/state civil forfeiture program because it allowed seizure of property without any criminal charge or conviction. Harborside Health Center has never been charged or convicted of a state or federal crime, but Haag shows no sign of easing her efforts to seize the properties it is located in.

“It’s difficult to understand federal logic. Two weeks ago, Eric Holder said the government shouldn’t seize property without a criminal conviction—but that is exactly what Melinda Haag is trying to do to Harborside. We have never even been charged with a committing a single crime, much less been convicted. If Attorney General Holder doesn’t realize what’s going on in his own agency, he must be smoking something a lot stronger than cannabis”.—Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director ,Harborside Health Center.

In 2006, the City of Oakland granted Harborside Health Center (HHC) a permit to operate.  Today it is widely recognized as model, gold standard medical cannabis dispensary, is now the largest medicinal dispensary in the United States, serving more than 150,000 patients.  Since Harborside’s opening, over 30 states have passed medical cannabis laws, and four states have legalized the adult use of cannabis.

“The legal cannabis industry is now the fastest growing industry in America. It has created tens of thousands of new jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes. No matter how much she tries, Federal Attorney Melinda Haag cannot turn back the clock. If her bosses don’t stop her, California voters will in 2016” Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director Harborside Health Center

Headed to US Supreme Court

The 9th Circuit ruling will almost certainly be appealed to the US Supreme Court by whichever party loses, and the Harborside litigation is expected to continue well into 2017.

“Harborside still has zero intention of closing its doors. We expect to be open and serving patients long after Melinda Haag leaves office.” - Harborside Executive Director, Steve DeAngelo

the cannabis manifesto steve deangelo book


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Your name is Jerry Brown and you’re calling me a dummy?? You MUST be from California…

  2. Dummy! It’s against FEDERAL LAW! She’s a FEDERAL Prosecutor. How in the HELL CAN YOU ARREST HER? Dumb ass Americans!!! that’s how we get people like Bush and Reagan in office!
    You must be smoking something like the product in question here!

  3. How are the cops assholes in Kansas ? You sound like you have mental health issues

  4. Arrest her and charge her with impeding a state law or something. Get as…creative as she and her ilk are. Nobody would cry seeing her having to leave town. Oh and she lives there I’m sure? Or is that a state secret too? Start picketing out in front of her home. Make it uncomfortable for her. Point her out in public. She’s as famous as her boss and she’s just as despicable too. These vampire types can’t stand the light of day and that’s exactly what she is. Screw recreational or medical…this woman is the enemy. Send her back to the other Washington and then you can argue in peace. Who know’s maybe they’ll send you guys Jenny Durkan?? (who knew where her Democratic “bread was buttered” and didn’t make too many waves amongst her Democratic friends – Google her) She was the complete opposite (here in Washington state) of Queen Melinda. And when it came to…”legalization” we hardly heard a peep out of her. And just look where we’re at….compared to you guys (though I’m saying that with a little (O.K. a lot of) sarcasm and a wicked smile because this is hardly the Shangri La of free cannabis either.

  5. LOL. Me too! I meant to ask…do you know anyone in California who wants weed and can’t get a card allowing them to purchase or grow it?

  6. Based on what seems to be happening in Colorado, DeAngelo might be right about his business being threatened by recreational weed: the medical marijuana business seems to be increasing pressure from recreational sales, especially now that prices are starting to equalize.

  7. While you’re at it, please include DEA head Michelle Leonhart in your campaign to remove incompetent, lying, and power-mad government employees from office.

  8. Yes, that Good Old Party of Ronald and Nancy “Just Say No” Reagan will certainly jump right in and make the DEA back off! Hahahah! Hilarious!

  9. The tail is wagging the dog. The inmates running the insane asylum has a better ring to it but is a little less appropriate. I’ve wondered for quite a while if there is a chain of command in the Department of Justice instead of a whole bunch of loose cannons. Bureaucrats are bad enough but in this case they’re also lawyers. I still believe that the need to run other peoples lives is the worst addiction in the world.
    By the way Cannabis never should have been banned.

  10. The people who voted
    Every town has their own Hag!
    Now Santa Ana has another money grab lottery pushing out prior
    “Unpermitted shops”

  11. If being butthurt means being against those looking to profit and exploit patients by selling them a product that they oppose the rest of the world can use then, yes, I’ll gladly take that moniker. DeAngelo doesn’t want the competition that full legalization brings because then his patients could go anywhere to get their medicine and not have to buy it from his stores.

  12. I wish the 150,000 patients would all file suit against Haag. Imagine a class action suit against Haag? Awesome way to put the numbers behind you!

  13. That would be a democrat justice dept but don’t worry the republican congress will clip there wings like they did when the DEA went after hemp. Thanks for the issue dems.

  14. Frigin politicians wanna run your whole life. Lets shut them down, you know what they say about all the lawyers and politicians (thumbs down in the end)
    Cant wait to see how the native indians get it going and roll over all naysayers on capitol hill.

  15. You sound like a butt hurt whiner, to me. Yea for Steve DeAngelo and all he has done! Take your hate out to Kansas and beat up a few asshole cops!

  16. So, do you know someone who wants a MMJ card in California and can’t get one, Uncle? I’m both proud of California for being the first to have ANY legal weed, and angry with them for doing such a half assed job. This is part of the reason for the fractured fronts on Rec legalization, IMHO. But better half assed than not at all, right?

  17. We need to start a campaign to remove Drug War Criminal Melinda Haag from office. This subhuman would have been at home in the Nazi regime. “Just Following Orders” didn’t work in Nuremberg and it’s not going to work for her. Let’s have her prosecuted for crimes against humanity in a European human rights tribunal. In the meantime, the city of San Francisco needs to create a grass roots movement to have Melinda Haag boycotted from all businesses, like the brave citizens of D.C. did to Rep. Andy Harris. The city of San Fran must BOYCOTT Haag in as many places as possible. Let’s get moving!

  18. Syntax error: I meant the hyper-factionalism in California’s marijuana movement, not California’s medical marijuana movement. Sorry.

  19. DeAngelo was quoted on the Bill O’Reilly Factor in 2012 saying that he opposed legalization for recreational use. However, he was called on that and rightly so, and later walked back his remark saying that he was “misunderstood”. Anyways it’s very symptomatic of the problems of trying to get marijuana legalized in California. The hyper-factionalism in California’s medical marijuana movement will only ensure that legalization will be an elusive prospect in California. For a state that boasts about having the best marijuana, it’s an embarrassment that rec use remains illegal in 2015 in California.

  20. Not living in Calif, I am unfamiliar with what’s going on. Can you give me some sources to catch up on this?

  21. You have to love the irony considering DeAngelo wants to keep recreational illegal so he can profit from lives being destroyed by disease and illnesses.

  22. “The legal cannabis industry is now the fastest growing industry in America. It has created tens of thousands of new jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes. No matter how much she tries, Federal Attorney Melinda Haag cannot turn back the clock. If her bosses don’t stop her, California voters will in 2016″ Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director Harborside Health Center”

    This coming from the same asshole that opposes legalization. Sorry, Mr. DeAngelo. You don’t get to talk out of both sides of your mouth. You oppose legalization but have no problems for citing its benefits when you are the target of prosecution. Karma is a motherfucker. And I wouldn’t count on the same people saving your ass that you couldn’t support during your quest to profit from your patients.

  23. Amazing that Melinda Haag is still hell bent on destroying lives and businesses and perpetuating the marijuana boogie man. Is she this draconian in all of her pursuits as a Federal Attorney? Sheesh!

Leave A Reply