Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — On Monday, July 23, 2012, President Barack Obama visits Oakland, California, the heart of America’s medical cannabis industry. With 17 states and Washington, D.C., passing medical cannabis laws, the federal government has in past months deployed multiple federal agencies to interfere with state law and restrict safe access for patients, as is specified in the Daily Beast article linked below. This attack has occurred in several states, and activists and advocates will join together in national protest. Oregon, Washington and Colorado will announce actions in their respective states, as they join with California in solidarity. Website: saveharborside.org.
On Tuesday, July 10, the nation’s model dispensary, Harborside Health Center, received property forfeiture notices from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag at their Oakland and San Jose locations. The complaints do not allege any wrong-doing by Harborside, and contradicts statements made by Haag that she would target dispensaries less than 1000 feet from a school, or out of compliance with state law. Harborside Health Center is neither close to a school nor out of compliance with state law and local ordinances.
President Obama, his staff and the White House press corps will witness elected officials, patients, national cannabis leaders and activists protesting at Oakland City Hall Plaza. This permitted and peaceful protest calls on the President to uphold policy in respect to state laws by freezing all enforcement actions until it is determined they are consistent with administration policy not to target those organizations in compliance with state law.
Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed the 2008 campaign promise from President Obama, and the DOJ Ogden memo of 2009. In sworn testimony before the U.S. Congress, Holder stated, “We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law.”
"U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s actions against Harborside are in clear violation of Attorney General Holder’s recent testimony. If successful, she will deprive tens of thousands of patients of safe access to the medicine they depend on. More than 100 employees will lose well-paying jobs with generous benefits, and over $4 million of tax revenue will be lost to the cities of Oakland and San Jose."
“It is time for us all to stand together, and demand that President Obama keep his promise,” said executive director of Harborside Health Center, Steve DeAngelo. “He must reign in this rogue prosecutor who is in clear violation of administration policy, and see that federal resources are used to fight crime—not medical cannabis patients.”
The protest will start at NOON at the Oakland City Hall Plaza, followed by the press conference at 1:45PM at the above address with elected officials, patients and activists. More information will be released early Monday morning.
Media Contact: Gaynell Rogers/ 415.298.1114/gaynellrogers(at)gmail.com Samantha Campos/ 510.388.4991/campos_samantha(at)yahoo.com