Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More on the effort to close medical marijuana dispensary Harborside Health Center

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The Federal effort in the case of Harborside Health Center is particularly egregious, since it is directly contrary to promises made by Eric Holder and President Obama. Scott Morgan reports:

One month ago, Eric Holder testified before Congress that the Dept. of Justice is only targeting medical marijuana businesses that violate their state’s laws. Anyone who didn’t realize it was a lie should be getting the message right about now.

The federal government is moving to shut down the nation’s largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business.

Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two dispensaries Tuesday, alleging that they were “operating in violation of federal law.”

Medical marijuana advocates, as well as some state and local officials, decried the action, saying it hurts patients in legitimate need of the drug and breaks repeated promises by President Obama‘s Justice Department that it was targeting only operations near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the state’s laws. [LA Times]

They’re not even pretending it’s about state law anymore. Harborside has a permit from the City of Oakland and pays millions in taxes to the state of California. They’ve been covered extensively in the press, and featured on the Discovery Channel program “Weed Wars”. Everyone knows exactly what goes on inside Harborside because we’ve seen it with our own eyes: they provide high-quality medical cannabis and other services to qualified patients. This is the definition of a legal and well-regulated medical marijuana dispensary.

So how are the feds justifying their attempt to shut down the most responsible business in the industry? They are claiming, I kid you not, that it’s just too successful:

I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. – U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag

This is beyond outrageous and it flies in the face of even the most recent excuses put forward by the Attorney General and the President himself when attempting to justify their escalating war on medical marijuana.

By targeting Harborside solely on the basis of its reputation as the nation’s “biggest” medical marijuana provider, DOJ forgets something rather important: it’s the biggest because it’s the best. Harborside is a model of safe, secure, patient-oriented medical marijuana services. It’s also a model of legal compliance, and any effort to shut its doors simply obliterates the Attorney General’s recent claims that DOJ is merely upholding local laws. He really should stop saying that. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

14 July 2012 at 11:06 am

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