Try as I may, I just don’t understand the Obama regime’s antipathy to medical marijuana. You would think that since medical marijuana is more popular than he is, that he would embrace it as a vote-getter. It would also re-enthuse the young PayPal-savvy posse he gathered four year ago.
So why doesn’t he do it? I’ve asked this question of beltway insiders and they draw a big question mark, too. The only possible explanations that people have suggested are that Obama fears a police/criminal justice backlash and that the professionalism of the dispensaries and the medical products they purvey threatens the pharmaceutical companies far more than a dealer selling a bag of weed. The theory is that big pharma is pressuring Obama. I think it’s far deeper than that…but it’s not apparent why, yet.
Whatever his reason, his federal attorneys continue to attack dispensaries. In a new tactic, Harborside Health Center, recently featured in a series on cable called “Weed Wars,” was attacked indirectly. Rather than using a raid as with Oaksterdam, the feds filed a complaint against the landlord, seeking confiscation of the property.
The reviled U.S. Attorney, Melanie Haag, said in a statement she did it because they are too big, so they must be breaking the law themselves or they were enabling customers who were.
Haag’s move does not seem strategic. Had she sent a letter demanding that the dispensary be closed the landlord would feel pressure to force closure. However, by serving him with a complaint that he must fight to preserve property, the landlord and tenant are in the same stew, and they can fight the complaint together.
At the press conference, Councilperson Rebecca Kaplan and other Oakland officials praised Harborside and vowed to stand with them in this fight. Harborside is the second largest sales tax collector in Oakland, so their closure would squeeze the city’s austerity budget even tighter.
This confrontation may result in some brilliant legal battles. Steve D’Angelo, the proprietor of Harborside, has shown his capabilities by starting and running the company. His speeches show insight and he is very dedicated. He comes from a YIPPIE!! background, a sort of underground brotherhood that imbues its members with a certain attitude about self-sufficiency, peoples’ rights and a wary distrust of government. One Yippie proverb is “When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will be free.” I think the government chose to pick on the wrong guy.
Jason David, A Father’s Plea
From the recent press conference at Harborside Health Center with Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan