OAKLAND — Federal agents swooped in Monday morning to search Oakland’s Oaksterdam University in Oakland, the state’s first cannabis industry training school.
Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division are searching the university at the corner of 16th Street and Broadway, in the heart of the city’s widely recognized downtown cannabis-oriented district, authorities said.
The university has been cordoned off by yellow caution tape.
Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman, said she could not say why the agents were there other than to confirm that they were serving a federal search warrant.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/02/BABJ1NTK9T.DTL#ixzz1qtvKIJo3
[UPDATE!] You can view video from yesterday’s federal raid, coverage of today’s march and protest in San Francisco, and also read Richard Lee’s first public statement since the DEA and IRS took action against him here.]
Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, was the man who poured $1.5 million of his own money into the Prop 19 effort in 2010 to legalize marijuana in California. That effort garnered the greatest-ever support for statewide marijuana legalization at 46.5%.
Oaksterdam was founded in November of 2007 to provide training for the caregivers and collectives providing cannabis medicine to California’s medical marijuana patients. But rather than just establish a “grow school”, Richard Lee also seeded the curriculum with classes covering the entire cannabis industry, including how to address the political and legal impediments that prohibition of cannabis for healthy people imposes on getting medicine to sick people.
The recent “crackdown” by the four US Attorneys in California, which has included threatening letters to landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries as well as outright raids of longstanding, community-approved outlets like Berkeley Patients Group, has been devastating to Oaksterdam’s enrollment.
There is now no doubt in my mind that this is a full-court press by the Obama Administration to squelch the voices of legalization, retard the propagation of truth about marijuana, and stall our growing political momentum long enough for the campaign donors in Big Pharma to get cannabinoid pharmaceuticals through the FDA approval process.
Colorado and Washington – 2012 is THE year. Failure to pass legalization this year gives the government four more years before they have to worry about serious attempts at legalization. By then, a few more states will have passed medical marijuana laws without home grow. By 2016, Sativex and other cannabinoid pharmaceuticals are brought to market. Those states without home grow will then begin switching their state-run dispensary patients to Sativex. States with home grow will be under great pressure to do the same.[NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano adds: I have tremendous personal respect for Richard Lee, having advocated along side with him in support of Prop. 19 — the statewide initiative he boldly and generously spearheaded in 2010 — and having lectured at Oaksterdam University, the groundbreaking educational facility he founded. On more than one occasion I ended my lectures at O.U. by highlighting the difference between changing public opinion and changing culture. Richard’s activism — opening the nation’s first brick-and-mortar cannabis ‘college,’ bankrolling Proposition 19 which nearly succeeded in legalizing the adult use of marijuana in California, and revitalizing downtown Oakland — fell into the latter category. He was changing the culture. And that is why the federal government and the Obama/Holder administration is trying to silence him today.]
The citizens of CA should be outraged they have been robbed of thier tax money by the Feds. California should succeed from the union becuase of this unjudtice!
Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
If you live in Connecticut and want to end marijuana prohibition in our state, please take a minute to visit http://www.ctprimaryproject.com.
Please pass this on to anyone you know in Connecticut!
the raid really looked like it was undertaken by the pigs of old. really heavy-handed. i hope it stirs a backlash and blows up in thier faces. they behaved really, really pig-like. the fucking bastards. it was very scary. anyway. legalise today; get high tonight. todays pig is tomorrows bacon……….
What a waste of tax dollars. Obama is allowing these ridicules tax wasting events only so he won’t be called out for being lenient on the debate so he can be reelected. When congress created the scheduled drug act in the early 70’s the Shaffer report, which Nixon asked for and ignored, stated marijuana should not be included in it as it wasn’t a dangerous substance nor significant to hard drug use, but Nixon hated the protestors outside the white house yelling at him all hours of the day and night, since they had a right to do so (then, try that today right outside the white house, can’t do it) so he pushed congress to include it and under schedule 1 making it a crime to possess, manufacture or use, so he could have all those protestors arrested as many smoked it. But of course Nixon’s hate was of the whole youth culture and anyone who disagreed with him, he was a paranoid mean spirited crazy man imo. Marijuana is in schedule one and cocaine is in schedule 2, Marijuana should never have been included in the scheduled drug act nor been lumped in with hard drugs as a problem.
I wish the police would just leave us pot smokers alone!! I don’t think weed is a bad thing, it’s not like cocaine. LEAVE US ALONE!!!!
This is just deplorable…raiding an educational institute, these bastards just won’t let go. It is only a matter of time before enough people wake up and smell the pig shit.
I understand the reason for people who need marijuana due to medical reasons should be able to purchase this drug, no problem with that at all. And I know someone will need to grow it for them. But, the problem is all the other people using/abusing the drug who have no medical reason. Along with that is the Doctor giving people scrips for it that also have no true medical reason for the drug. Each time that happens it turns public opinion away from full legal use for a medical purpose nation wide. Any one who uses marijuana for non medical reasons is a drug abuser just like someone taking oxycotin that is not for true medical reasons. University students smoking pot on 4/20 each year,in protest, is not helping the situation. It just makes it look like a bunch of drug-heads wanting something for pure selfish reasons.