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Thousands Of Patients Threatened To Lose Safe Access To Medical Cannabis


harborside health centerU.S. Attorney And DEA Threaten Harborside Health Center Landlords

Property Forfeiture Filed in District Court of San Francisco

Press Conference Scheduled:

Oakland, California

Thursday July 12th at 9 AM

Location TBA

With Appearances and Statements by Patients, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, State Board of Equalization & City Officials, Union Officials, Arturo Sanchez, LEAP Officers, Rebecca Kaplan and Other Statewide Officials

The federal attack on safe access for medical cannabis patients continues. Yesterday morning, taped to the front doors of the nation’s model medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland and San Jose, was an official ‘Complaint for Forfeiture of Property.’ The complaint is signed by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvan Perteet, and DEA Agent David White, filed on July 6, 2012, in the District Court San Francisco Division and received by the court on Sunday, July 9. The complaint seeks forfeiture of real estate and improvements on the grounds that cannabis is being distributed on the premises, in violation of federal law.

This latest federal action to seize property flies in the face of promises made by Haag to exclusively target dispensaries less than 1000 feet from a school, and recent statements from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who stated that only those dispensaries out of compliance with state law would be subject to Federal enforcement actions. Harborside Health Center is neither close to a school, nor out of compliance with state law. The location at 1840 Embarcadero is more than 1000 feet from the closest school, and Harborside is widely recognized as the most legally compliant dispensary in the state, and renowned nationwide.

“Harborside has nothing to hide or be ashamed of,” said Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center. “We will contest the DOJ action openly and in public, and through all legal means at our disposal. We look forward to our day in court, and are confident that justice is on our side.”

Harborside Health Center employs over 100 people, and is Oakland’s second largest retail tax payer. Last year, HHC paid combined taxes in excess of $3 million, over a million dollars of which went directly to the City of Oakland. Should Harborside be forced to close:

-Our 100,000 patients will return to the illegal marketplace
-Street drug sales and law enforcement costs will both rise
-Over $3,000,000 in tax revenue will be destroyed
-Our more than 100 current employees will become jobless

“This is a policy that hurts not only those who depend on cannabis for medicine. It will destroy tax revenue, endanger patients, increase unemployment, and empower criminals. Whoever thinks this is a good idea must be smoking something a lot more powerful than cannabis,” said DeAngelo.


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Johnny Green


  1. Steve in Oakland on

    In the “Legalization Nation” section of the July 11th East Bay Express there is an item about how the Oakland Police Department prioritized sending officers to “protect” the federal stormtroopers raiding Oaksterdam University last April 2nd while at the same time mass murder was being committed at a small university a short ways away. I guess harassing medical marijuana advocates is more important than stopping murder.

  2. Johnny oneye on

    “Harborside has nothing to hide or be ashamed of,” said Steve DeAngelo

    DOJ should be ashamed how many county workers got laid off ,teachers etc
    the war against cannabis is expensive , geuss who pays?follow the bouncing $

  3. Yea for our fed. goverment. Dont they have bigger fish to fry. A business that pays 58 million to 105 million according to the state board of equalization, is legit and has all their ducks in a row should be able to be free of the feds BS, our goverment should look at their selfs in the mirror but it cant account they all have their hands in the cookie jar and are crooks. And to think they are using tax payers money for this. FREE DA WEED………

  4. Ya see, they didn’t just piss off 1 owner, or 100 employees, but over 100,000 sick people and the caregivers and suppliers.
    I believe the feds are setting up a big pharma takeover of the medical cannabis industry – to supply poor quality REALLY expensive weed to sick people.

  5. Dr.James Byers on

    Good luck,Steve-don’t let the feds spoil your breakfast-t5hey will rue the day they knock on my doors! Dr Jim Byers

  6. I believe that the feds need to see what cannibis is actually doing for people in the medical field. cigarettes and alcohol are legal all over the place however many people die of lung cancer, liver damage (lost a grandfather to alcohol poisoning). yet they are the items that line shelves at just about any grocery store. Steve i hope u win your case

  7. BradleyLaw420 on

    As a third year law student (but not lawyer) concentrating exclusively on cannabis law reform, I 100% agree with COcivi03090, and think Rico Colibri is an idiot. I was part of a delegation to the United Nations on June 26th, for the UNODC’s Global Drug Policy Debate. The international treaties mean nothing, because member states (like the USA) can always opt-out. Uruguay had just become the first country to legalize marijuana. The USA will be next if we support Amendment 64, I-502, OCTA, and other states’ medical marijuana legalization efforts. Change has to happen in this situation from the bottom up. Federal law is supreme in the USA, and can be enforced over contrary state law. Our system works when enough states rise up and show the feds they’re wrong.

  8. Steve in Oakland on

    The press conference regarding the federal government’s threats to Harborside and safe medical marijuana access will be at 9AM at Oakland City Hall, Frank Ogawa Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland.

  9. If anything Amendment 64 will help bring this issue into the public eye and aid in forcing a reform. The Feds can’t arrest an entire state.

  10. Amendment 64 will destroy safe access in colorado by inviting similar federal action. The Feds are bound by international treaties to enforce. The only hope is to remove funding at the state level for fedeal prohibition of marijuana.

  11. Christ, this bullshit has got to stop. Someone must have lined their pockets with a fuckton of money if they had the gumption to try to shutdown such a large and well known dispensary.

  12. Go get em Steve! Don’t take their shit! It’s TIME that the PEOPLE decide what WE want. This SAME shit happened right before Prohibition of Alcohol was defeated… Out wasn’t the Federal Govt who sae the light. It was States REFUSING to prosecute those cases anymore and once ENOUGH States were refusing to prosecute them is when the Govt. SAW THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS

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