City of Oakland Sues Feds to Save Nation's Largest Pot Shop

City argues that Harborside was open, operating legally under state, local laws since ’06

 
SOURCE: www.rawstory.com
AUTHOR: Stephen C. Webster
In a landmark first for an American city government, officials in Oakland approved a lawsuit this week in hopes of saving Harborside Health Center, better known as America’s largest pot shop.
The City of Oakland collects more than $1 million in taxes every year from sales at regulated medical marijuana dispensaries; Harborside is the largest among them with more than 100,000 customers. However, Harborside is under threat of being seized by federal authorities after U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag warned that they’re violating federal law.
The nation’s largest pot shop was the subject of a Discovery Channel series called “Weed Wars,” which aired earlier this year. Owner Steve DeAngelo (pictured above) said that the channel canceled the series in March without explanation.

City of Oakland Sues Feds to Save Nation's Largest Pot Shop
@vilahaze, Grower @ertaverd, Photographer

The city’s lawsuit argues that Harborside has been open and operating legally under state and local laws since 2006, which they hope means it’s beyond the law’s five-year statute of limitations on property seizures. City officials also expressed concern that forcing more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients into the black market may have negative effects on public health and safety.
Federal prosecutors have forced hundreds of California medical marijuana dispensaries to close, despite the Obama administration’s promise to avoid prosecuting medical marijuana patients. Instead, attorneys are working with the Internal Revenue Service to apply tax law, which bans business deductions for any illegal trade.
Haag’s office initiated eviction proceedings against Harborside’s landlord under civil seizure laws earlier this year. The shop is also facing a massive tax bill due to years worth of business expense deductions being ruled illegal. Oakland’s “Oaksterdam University” was also tarted in a similar manner, which triggered a SWAT raid in April. Oaksterdam’s founder, who donated millions to California’s failed marijuana legalization initiative in 2010, has since resigned.
President Barack Obama, for his part, clarified in April that he never promised to “give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana,” saying that he cannot nullify laws passed by Congress. Obama added that he does not believe it is a good use of resources to pursue sick and dying patients who use the drug in states where it is legalized.
Just 17 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, even though a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey found earlier this year that 74 percent of Americans think doctors should be able to recommend the drug.

DO YOU NEED HELP WITH A DRUGS RELATED PROBLEM? CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SUPPORTLINE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IN CASE OF IMMEDIATE LIFE THREATENING CIRCUMSTANCES CALL 911 NOW!

Leave a Reply

Recent posts

About Soft Secrets

Soft Secrets is the leading source for cannabis cultivation, legalization, culture and entertainment for his dedicated and diverse audience across the globe. The key is to connect people through relevant and current information with the same interest as health, lifestyle and business opportunities that cannabis culture has to offer.