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Oakland City Council Votes To Shield Local Cannabis Dispensary From Federal Prosecution

Thursday, 30 July 1998

The Oakland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Wednesday designed to protect the city's local medical marijuana dispensary from federal criminal and civil liability.
The ordinance allows city officials to "designate" the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to distribute medical marijuana to seriously ill patients. The legislation attempts to provide immunity to the Cooperative against a federal lawsuit aimed at closing the dispensary. Supporters of the ordinance believe that Section 885(d) of the Controlled Substances Act immunizes local officials who enforce local drug laws from federal sanctions.
"Because the ordinance relies on provisions of federal law, it may be replicated in cities throughout the country, not just in California or other states that may pass laws similar to Proposition 215," said attorney Robert Raich, who drafted the measure.
Oakland is the first city to apply the Controlled Substances Act in this manner, Raich said.
For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or attorney Robert Raich @ (510) 338-0700.