Federal agents with DEA, IRS, raid marijuana trade school Oaksterdam University

WANTED: For spending $1.5 million to try to legalize marijuana and for providing truthful education about it.

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%.

Wall Street bankers looted and wrecked the economy? Eh, whaddaya gonna do? People are learning the truth about marijuana and its prohibition in there? Better send in federal agents right away! (Photo: Oaksterdam)

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.]


113 thoughts

  1. You know the problem with these storm trooper lips, the never question authority. There nothing but a legalized mafia.

  2. In Colorado and Washington this November, people will vote to legalize cannabis.

    Let’s just say that “medical marijuana” is redundant and obvious since the plant has been known as medicine throughout the whole of human history. There is no need to have a “medical marijuana card” as if it is “permission” by Big Brother paternalism and over-sized bureacracy. “Here is my hall pass.” Yeah, it’s medicine, we know. No one needs an excuse, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would agree.

    It should be strictly legal for recreation or medicine in a just society.

    It should be legal period, it needs no medical excuse or justification. It is far safer than legal alcohol and probably a million times safer than tobacco that is grown with with govt.-subsidized (taxpayer-funded), radioactive fertilizer containing Lead-210 (Pb210), found in tobacco, and not in cannabis It’s not a correlation, it’s causation. Tobacco contains lead-210 and taxpayers subsidize the fertilizer, and this is all supposedly “legal.”

    Enough of Oback Barama. He didn’t deserve the Nobel Prize, he doesn’t deserve a cub scout badge. Legalization of cannabis would be enough of a successful medical reform in itself, yet he is trying to change the hospital-insurance-pharmacy triad started by Nixon, which is monolithic by now, a giant money hog, unnecessarily over-priced.

    The DEA will never make a dent in the demand nor will they change the behavior of the people. It’s a money sink that changes nothing; unskilled labor pretending to fight the good fight.

    The DEA is DEAd. Let it rot

  3. U.S. out of Oakland! Occupy marijuana! We need help with gun control and violent crime, not DEA agents raiding peacefully functioning businesses.

  4. Lies,Lies and more Lies…Shame on them and US for allowing the Police State to come into existance. They force us to become freedom fighters….

  5. “The U.S. attorney in San Francisco, Melinda Haag, and her three counterparts in the state said in October that they would aggressively prosecute many marijuana dispensaries as profit-making criminal enterprises.”

    so why is it that we cannot prosecute the criminal enterprises in washington dc and the rest of our government?

    Even this woman, haag. why can we not prosecute her for not upholding state laws and throwing her fellow citizens (patients in wheelchairs, rather) in jail?

  6. I hate Romney but I hate you more Obama! Enjoy that bit of knowledge because it’s terminal.

  7. Undisputed medical evidence, and all the countries we are supposedly superior to, are more than happy to have cheap available medicine for their people….our country would rather poison its citizens one pill at a time

  8. Russ Belville wrote: “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.”

    Thank you, Russ! I began hammering this point back in October with the medical cannabis opponents of I-502. I have felt like a voice crying out in the wilderness. Rescheduling will not help. In fact, it will promote and abet marijuana prohibition. Your summation fortifies my feelings that those opposing I-502 while posing as reformers have their heads in the sand. There is a war going on.

    As I wrote in November and December of last year:

    “I am convinced that the federal government will soon be moving cannabis to schedule 2, but it will not be prescribed in it’s raw agricultural form. It will be in Sativex-like products made from raw cannabis and developed to minimize the “negative” effects (i.e., euphoria and being stoned).

    Given the government sanctioned alternative, this will put an end to the medical cannabis movement. Growing marijuana then, even for medicinal purposes, will be viewed in the same light as someone growing coca so that he can produce his own medical cocaine.”

    “GW Pharmaceuticals has the medical cannabis issue covered. Cannabis oil will be available and users protected and accommodated under the ADA after the movement of Sativex to schedule III.

    Cannabis used as a medicinal herb in its raw form will be made “unnecessary” as will state medical cannabis laws. In this context, the feds recent crackdown makes sense. Indeed, our Prohibitionist-in-Chief will ride in on a white horse and declare that he is compassionate, has heard the people’s clamoring, and will hold up medical cannabis in a bottle of Sativex.”

    “There will be no tolerance for domestic growing under any circumstance by individuals. It will be considered manufacturing and trafficking. All raw marijuana will be illegal. This is a huge ramp-up of the marijuana wars.

    While I loathe the prohibitionist Tacoma News Tribune, I think they correctly predict that, “The FDA will never put its imprimatur on raw cannabis – the leafy street version [sic] sold as medicine in Washington and a dozen other states. But it will approve medical use of therapeutic compounds derived from the plant…The gold standard for medical marijuana is going to be precisely isolated and administered molecules – which may produce little of the high that recreational users are after. Sativex reportedly addresses pain and spasticity with minimal euphoric effects.”

    My efforts to warn the “medical cannabis” prohibitionists not only fell on deaf ears, I was derided for supporting I-502. It’s time for them to wake up and smell the SWAT teams.

  9. While they were raiding Oaksterdam, there was a school shooting in Oakland killing 7 people and wounding 3. Glad to see where the priorities are.

  10. I believe Santorum and Paul are the only candidates that support marijuana legislation…then again I hate Santorum and the man can’t be trusted.

    At the same time Romney honestly believes that marijuana is a gateway drug (really? people still believe this?) and that the war on drugs should not be stopped, but that they should spend MORE money on fighting marijuana.

    Keep in mind big pharmacy pays this guy.

    Shocking, right?

  11. I will be voting for Romney, because he could actually win. Romney will be asked about states rights and Tax and regulation.

  12. Is Obama a socialist? That’s a matter of political perspective. One thing no one can deny irregardless of where they are on the political spectrum is that Obama is a prohibitionist.


  13. The problem with the term “Medical Marijuana” is that it gives the government an open door to try to get the FDA to replicate it. Right now there are 2 sides, the medical side & the recreational side but we should all be on the same page. Just legalize it, it’s a plant!

  14. Holy Shit!

    Tyler’s quote!
    “It’s great to see that Law Enforcement was used to do this while just 20 miles away 7 people were being killed by a gunman at Oikos University.

    Maybe we should rethink our priorities?”

    Seen the news on MSNBC, seen this quote then it clicked.
    CNN ain’t displaying shit about the shooting like how they did with the recent shooting in Ohio, advertising the Ohio shooting for a week. Why not? Are they being criticized about both happenings “raid and shooting 20 miles apart” and want to keep in on the low?

    This is a whole new can of worms that just got opened up.

    I am in shock & awe :0.

    Maybe if the fucking pigs didn’t have there heads so fucking stuck up their assholes about marijuana, they could have prevented one less person dieing in this shooting.

    Pure ignorance of the U.S. govt. omg omg omg Wowwzers.

  15. The sad part about all of this is that the government tells us that we need them and they are here for our safety yet they kill our own people, start wars for pointless reasons, approve deadly drugs while natural and non-lethal herbs are being declared illegal and dangerous. I hate to say this but it’s time for everybody to stop being such complete fucking morons and open there damn eyes. The government is lying to us and laughing about how gullible we can actually be. They tell us that the federal government will not interfere with state medical marijuana laws yet they interfere as much as they can while the public believes they can’t do anything about it. We the people need to realize that we are being used and abused for their own personal benefits. They are the ones who own the drug companies that they approve these deadly drugs for. In 1619 America’s first hemp law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, ordering all farmers to grow hemp. From 1763 – 1767 Farmers who do NOT grow hemp could be arrested and jailed in Virginia. Now if a person is caught with any part and amount of the marijuana plant from seed to flower they can be arrested and jailed not just in Virginia but the other 49 states as well. The US government tells us that we are a democracy yet every day our children pledge allegiance to the REPUBLIC for which it stands. Open your eyes and realize what our government is actually doing and start to fight back. The time has come for we as the affected public from the government’s games need to take a stand. We need to make our government work for us the nation’s people, the way a government is supposed to be. World peace can only come once the greed and ego mean nothing to everybody. It is all in our hands now, stop waiting for someone else to make the next move and fight back with me and everybody else who has opened up their eyes and minds. This raid is only one of many more to come. The longer we wait to act upon getting our rights back, the closer we get to the point of no return.

  16. It’s a damn shame more people don’t fully understand the power of the second amendment. To abolish oppressive forms of government. Blast those fascist swine. We don’t need them.

  17. The Nixon’s cold war against hippies has gotten even hotter!

    The Nixon virus (Nixon’s federal marijuana policy) is causing extreme DEA madness in epidemic proportion against the U.S. Constitution. By Nixon’s standards, we (U.S. citizens) are all criminals and therefore, cannot be trusted.

    (Using the term “hippies” does sound absurd, but you dealing with a ghost of Nixon’s Revenge.)

    Save the United States. Get rid of the DEA!

  18. Richard Lee will no doubt go down in history as one of the greatest cannabis heroes ever. So history will definitely treat Lee very well once society grows up about marijuana; but as for Obama/Holder and their clowns, history will show these people as oppressive tyrants. Right now marijuana consumers are being treated like the African American’s were treated prior to the 1960s-70s, or gay and lesbians were treated just 30 years ago. History will prove that the marijuana patient/consumer is normal and not sick and addicted. Marijuana people are no different than wine, ice cream, vitamin C, toaster or whatever for that matter consumer. History will show the FED violated basic human rights, even when citizens changed the law and tried to legally teach marijuana. What kind of nazi-like group would want to stop education in a so-called free country?

    In my small opinion, the FED is gearing up for total war. These people see civil war and world war on the horizon. The marijuana patient/consumer will be an enemy combatant. The FED does not recognize the individual states; they want to Federalize everything uniformly according to the New World Order (or World Government established by elite Western banking interests). It is this NWO that is forcing prohibition ultimately. Probably because like NWO operative Hilliary Clinton said a little while back, “there is too much money in it.” Too much money for black projects, top secret missions and all the other scary things that the FED/NWO is doing with all the drug money they are making in places like Afghanistan, Mexico and elsewhere.

    If you want to stop all this FED assault against marijuana, this is what you can peacefully do to stop these madmen:

    1. Cancel any television cable or satellite service you many have. Stop supporting the mainstream media. Do not watch their news.
    2. Go to places like Drudge and Infowars for news; and to learn about the other abuses, aside from marijuana, that are created by the FED/NWO juggernaut.
    3. Become educated in all issues of this global oppression and war against ordinary citizens by the crazy elite. Use this knowledge to reach out to the people who are asleep; and teach the people about the truth. Teach people how they are getting Fucked everywhere: currency devaluation and higher prices for necessities, poisoned GMO foods, tainted vaccines, fluoride in the water supply, NDAA and other tyrannical legislation, environmental disaster cover-ps, Ron Paul “can’t win” PSY OPs, derivative scams and the abuses by banking and Wall Street. This list goes on and on.

    YOU as an individual are a powerful force to spread truth throughout the internet on every format. You can wake people up to not only the marijuana prohibition scam, but something that touches everybody’s life.

  19. L.A. Times, Sat. February 4, 2012

    Later, Romney told some employees of the supply company that he would be sensitive . I’ll listen he said to a few bundled up workers sitted in an unheated warehouse area, ” I will listen to business people & to working people & to folks across the Country to understand what is going on in their lives “. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFJ_iQJeWY0

  20. even on this site we have to wait for moderation…so it looks to be in all areas now…dont you all see it?…we have been under house arrest for a long time and dont even know it…wake up stupid!

  21. All of you who supported/ are supporting Obama ASKED FOR THIS! There was only one candidate talking about ending the federal war on drugs last time around, but you chose to ignore him and bag on him! This time around you are still bagging on him but not as loudly as there are many more of us this time around. But just the same, you are refusing to acknowledge the obvious, OBAMA WILL NEVER END THE WAR ON DRUGS! If you want to end this crap, why not start with helping elect officials who actually want to help you! Vote Ron Paul in your primaries, and vote Ron Paul in November!!! LET US END THE WAR ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!


  22. You think it’s bad now..

    wait till they start their Food Safety programs and start harasing and fining citizens that are “manufacturing’ vegetables in their backyard gardens

    Montsanto wants full monopoly of your food sources and heirloom -organic vegetables are a health threat to national security.haha Bullshit,it’s just pure greed and monopolisation of resources,

    the same thing applies to cannabis-isolating thc for medical marketing and exclusive patent ownership TM

    Cannabis in it’s natural form contain 80 to 100 cannabinoids and terpines that have unigue- synergestic effects that you could not obtain by isolating one or two compounds like THC or CBD.

    The same goes with substituting a vitamin for the real thing..a fresh fruit or vegetable contains a plethora of vitamins-minerals-amino-acids and phytonutrients that benifit your health in more way’s than one.

    Cannabis “kills three bird with one stone’. and they cant stand it, because of its multiple uses and applications.If these government intities where not so trapped in their own self-made infrastructures, they could regulate it like wine.

    Wine in moderate doses has some health benifits -polyphenolic compounds such as resveratrol for example.but marketing is not structured specificaly for medical or recreational use

    if their mafia like mentality- could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  23. This is pathetic. I can’t believe Obama turned his face on us. He knows this plant is harmless, but I guess big $$$ really does demoralize you.

    I don’t smoke herb anymore, so they can’t dog me on health concerns. I don’t see how when I take a half gram of herb and place it between two slices of cheese and that between two slices of bread and toast it for ~30 minutes is so EVIL. So evil that they’d STEAL my home, my life, my freedom, my children and everything else they can STEAL. Just for a little cannabis. A plant. Something those god fearing monger’s god gave them.


  24. They are simply protecting their lobby money from big pharma. The U.S. has a patent on cannabis that acknowledges it’s medical benefits, US Patent 6630507. Google it, and todays atrocities are exposed. Educate yourself america, they don’t want you to.

  25. this is a horrifying tragedy. it comes as the supreme court has abolished the 4th amendment.

    i visited oksterdam last year & met richard lee. he is a truly great campaigner and the school is a national treasure. this attack is pure fascism. what a sham and a shame!! this administration i fighting an inevitable tide and doing tremendous damage along the way.

  26. If you’re sick and tired of this kind of idiocy, make sure to keep yourself eligible to vote. That means not getting yourself in trouble when you do your thing. Don’t keep more than an ounce, don’t get yourself a felony when you go to protests, etc…

    While you’re on the computer, why don’t you email your congressman and tell him/her that you don’t appreciate your federal tax money being used to raid places like Oaksterdam.

  27. How can they patent something they did not create?

    This might not make sense, ionno.

    Can I patent the US govt? Lock it up? Throw away the key? I didn’t create the US govt neither did they create Cannabis.

    Ugh, Ima have a mild heart attack with the stress of all this.

    I wonder if commenting even helps at all. Does it?

  28. i voted for Obama to make an about face from the Bush bone head years. Ron Paul Is going to get it this time. this country needs a big shake up and get the corporate fascist’s out of the picture. i feel like i got stabbed in the back by Obama. He has blood and greed on his hands now. So pathetic.

  29. My thanks to those who left long, detailed comments instructing me, not only on cannabis reform laws but, on many other subjects that involve Government greed, power, and monopoly. The people who help others such as myself learn about Government corruption are truly leaders of America, and should probably start running for Government office. As for those who used many foul words, and did not care to help others educate themselves on Government scandal, shame on you. Do think that Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr earned respect and created a revolution by saying “Fuck the Government”? No these people and many people like them were respectful and intelligent. Let us all fallow in there footsteps and use our knowledge and intelligence to help American citizens in the fight to legalize a safe and nearly harmless plant. My personal thanks to “Fed-Up”, “Jeedi”, “Jim” and of-coerce “Russ Belville”. You are the true spirit of America!

  30. @Zuke

    There is far more than just THC in natural cannabis. Synthetic THC is available in only a few specific pharmaceutical dosages, and is difficult to titrate to meet (and not exceed) a specific comfort level with pain management. Big Pharma pills may take 30 minutes to take effect, presuming the patient can avoid puking them up before they are absorbed in the stomach lining. Smoking, vaporizing, or using a sublingual spray provides patient-controlled dosage level.

    You sound like either a representative of Big Pharma or a member / beneficiary of Federal LE Organizations — clueless, or parroting / spewing standard prohibitionist talking-point prattle.

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