(City of Oakland news release: http://bit.ly/STH0lO
City of Oakland filed complaint (PDF): http://bit.ly/TCNzsJ)
OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a historic development, the City of Oakland on Wednesday announced it had filed suit in federal District Court to enjoin US Attorney General Eric Holder and US Attorney Melinda Haag from their attempts to close Harborside Health Center, a city-licensed medical cannabis dispensary. Harborside, widely acclaimed as a model of legitimacy and legal compliance--and featured in the Discovery Channel series, "Weed Wars"-- was targeted by Haag on July 9, when she initiated a civil forfeiture suit to seize the Oakland and San Jose properties where it is located.
Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside, issued the following statement in response to the City's action:
"We are heartened and encouraged by the City of Oakland's lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder and US Attorney Melinda Haag, and welcome the City's support. Ms. Haag has attacked not only Harborside and our patients, but also the entire system of regulated medical cannabis distribution painstakingly developed by the City. Those regulations were developed in response to very real and serious problems caused by unregulated sales of medical cannabis, and have improved public safety while raising substantial tax revenue. If Ms. Haag is successful in her efforts, our 112,000 patients will be forced to the illicit marketplace, over $25 million in annual cannabis sales will move back to the streets of Oakland, the City will lose its second largest retail tax payer, and our more than 100 employees will no longer have jobs.
"It is shameful that Ms. Haag and her colleagues, who are sworn to protect public safety, have chosen to spend limited law enforcement resources closing down licensed and regulated dispensaries, instead of targeting meth labs or human trafficking. The President should immediately freeze all enforcement actions against medical cannabis providers, and review them to make sure they are consistent with administration policy to target only those providers who are out of compliance with state law."
The Harborside Health Center logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13625