Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Federal Government Crackdown on Pot Dispensaries in California Meets Marijuana Advocates’ Angry Protest

As the federal government continues to go after marijuana dispensaries in California, supporters of medical cannabis in the state show they are not going to stand down.

On Wednesday, dozens of protesters assembled in downtown Berkeley to fight federal action against Berkeley Patients Group, California’s oldest pot shop, The Huffington Post reports.

“The Obama administration’s ongoing war against patients is despicable and has to stop,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told the crowd. “This is a mean, vindictive move aimed at shutting down one of the oldest and well-respected dispensaries in the country.”

Berkeley Patients Group received a letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag last year for apparently operating within 1,000 feet of a school. It has since relocated but on Friday, the shop was served with a lawsuit that does not even mention its proximity to schools or violation of specific laws.

Apart from Berkeley Patients Group, several other marijuana dispensaries throughout northern California have received similar legal threats from Haag over the past few weeks. The letters warn of property seizures and jail sentences if owners don’t discontinue their business.

“This round of U.S. attorney threat letters is just the latest move to undermine President Obama’s repeated pledges that his federal government would respect state medical marijuana laws,” Marijuana Majority’s Tom Angell told HuffPost. “This is part of a continuing effort to try to intimidate the legal marijuana industry out of existence.”

Angell believes the aggressive crackdown has something to do with the federal government’s concern over the growing national acceptance of marijuana.


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