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Oaksterdam

Medical Marijuana Industry News April 20, 2012

420 event

420 Recognized Around the World…

 

 

Today people are gathering around the world in celebration of the hugely popular international marijuana holiday.  Events will be held in appreciation for everything marijuana has to offer.  Marijuana support has been growing steady and the community, as always, peaceful and fun gatherings are expected.  Fortunately this year 420 falls on a Friday, leaving the entire weekend full of events.  Marijuana.net will be at the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Denver.  We will be celebrating 420 by providing patient awareness and education at the cup.  You may also find us mingling with patients at the Deep Green Festival in San Franscisco. Check back tomorrow for a history on The Cannabis Cup and other 420 events.

 

Click here for More on the History of how 420 came to be

 

Oaksterdam Reopens in Limited Capacity…

 

Patients and dispensary workers were happy to find out that Oaksterdam has opened its doors again. News of Oaksterdam University’s raid by federal authorities drew national attention.  Patients, students, and dispensary workers were shocked but claims to see the university open again proved true.  The school had to release 25 employees at the school and another 20 dispensary workers affiliated with Oaksterdam after federal authorities seized assets.  Oaksterdam is currently going to be operating at a smaller capacity and they will not use actual marijuana in classes and demonstrations.  Richard Lee will not be overseeing Oaksterdam.

 

For more click here

 

Proposed Law In California Could Make Local Municipalities Permit Marijuana Dispensaries…

 

Local governments have adopted different interpretations of California’s medical marijuana program.  Some municipalities have attempted to ban dispensaries with others limiting them.  There have been conflicting court rulings making the legalities even less clear.  Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced legislation that could fix legal inconsistencies in California.  AB 2312, The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Control Act, would set a standard for California medical marijuana law.  It would actually require municipalities to permit medical marijuana dispensaries.  The bill has cleared its initial hurdle and was passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.  Many think the bill has a legitimate chance to pass and now will go before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

For more click here

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Richard Lee Forced to Walk Away from Oaksterdam yet remains Positive

richard lee

Marijuana.net hopes you all had a nice holiday weekend.  With so much preparation for the holiday it can be difficult to keep up with new developments in the medical marijuana industry.  While we wish the only updates were related to Easter egg hunts and Passover Seders, patients learned that their struggles do not take a rest, even during the holidays.

The Oaksterdam raid by federal authorities has generated considerable attention in the media nationwide.  Richard Lee, who ran the university as well as a medical marijuana dispensary has decided to give up his business operations.  The news is troubling for many patients and advocates who have found inspiration through his tireless efforts.  Richard Lee is well known for his dedication to patients and spent over 1.5 million dollars in an attempt to pass proposition 19, a measure aimed at legalizing marijuana in California.  After the raids of his home and businesses, Mr. Lee is left with few options and has been forced to shut his doors to patients.  He may face many years in jail, and federal law even calls for the death sentence in cases where an individual possess over 60,000 plants.  Richard Lee admitted he did not know how many plants were seized during the raid though it still seems unlikely he would face execution.

Fortunately, Mr. Lee is utilizing an upbeat approach to his situation, despite facing what may be a lengthy jail sentence, or worse.  He sees his situation as a possible motivation point for activists.  Richard Lee recently stated “I think the nationwide coverage of the raid shows that there is a story here that a lot of people would like to see and like to hear about.”  He also went on to say “We are getting very close to a tipping point on this issue,” and referenced the fact that Oaksterdam has trained approximately 15,000 individuals, many of which are willing to continue the march toward marijuana reform.  The national coverage of the story may help Lee, as polls show that a vast majority of Americans support a physician’s right to prescribe marijuana to patients.  A harsh sentence for Mr. Lee may result in a harsh public backlash.

We wish the best for Richard Lee as his efforts have provided compassionate relief for so many patients.  While his legal downfall could help the future of medical marijuana, we do not want to lose focus on the individual.  Hopefully, the federal government will find some sensibility and provide leniency on someone hoping to promote education, safety, and compassion.

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Romney Victories and Oaksterdam Raid May Motivate Marijuana Activists

romney

This week did not provide medical marijuana patients with the news they were hoping for.  Mitt Romney picked up precious delegates in the Republican primaries and has all but assured his position in general election. Unfortunately for patients, this means that the two main candidates campaigning for president of the United States do not seem willing to discuss sensible marijuana reform.  Advocates and patients were also disappointed to learn that the iconic Oaksterdam University was raided by federal agents.

Marijuana advocates have always had to assume a glass half full position and as always, there were some developments to rise out of the ashes of disheartening news.  On Tuesday Mitt Romney won the primaries in Wisconsin, Washington D.C. and Maryland.  The victories separate him from the rest of the pack and has produced an almost insurmountable lead for the former Massachusetts Governor.  Unless a political catastrophe occurs for team Romney, his lead in the delegate count (658 to Santorum’s 281), 1,144 needed in total) should be enough to secure the nomination. The election is now likely to shift from Republican infighting to the inevitable battle between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.

Unfortunately for medical marijuana patients these are two candidates who do not appear ready to address the issue of reform with the American public.  President Obama has sidestepped the issue several times over the past few months and Mitt Romney has repeatedly made it clear that he does not support medical marijuana.  The good news is that another major political figure has reignited the issue of medical marijuana.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson appeared on “The Colbert Report” earlier this week and was more than willing to engage in many social issues such as gay marriage and marijuana legalization.  Johnson may not have a particularly great chance at capturing the presidency, but he may offer a third party option that can generate more excitement than we have seen in recent years.  Any exposure the former New Mexico governor gets could put pressure on both Barack Obama and  Mitt Romney to explain why they are not supportive of compassionate relief.

Another blow to the medical marijuana community came in the form of a federal raid of Oaksterdam.  Federal authorities have not disclosed the exact reasons as to why they raided the university.  Reports do indicate that the IRS was involved, so the potential for profiting or tax issues could have caused the raid.  The university was set up to try and help legitimize marijuana and to promote education and safety.  There is still hope for a future University as supporters have vowed to reopen “The Princeton of Pot.” Supporters also suggested the federal government would be better off allocating resources toward the horrific shooting on the Oikos University campus.

The medical marijuana community has endured much more than a raid and presidential candidates ignoring them.  Many are forced to illegally acquire medicine and deal with the risk of being arrested if they seek relief.  The resiliency that the community has shown for decades is not easily shaken and will certainly not be deterred by stubborn political candidates or a building being closed.  Education is more than lectures in a brick and mortar building, and it cannot be suppressed.

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Agents in Oakland raid leader of medical marijuana movement – Los Angeles Times


The Associated Press

Agents in Oakland raid leader of medical marijuana movement
Los Angeles Times
IRS and DEA officers seize files from Oaksterdam University, a marijuana trade school, and a dispensary run by Richard Lee, who helped put the Prop. 19 legalization measure on the ballot. US marshals stand at the entrance to Oaksterdam University in
Federal Officials Raid Medical Marijuana School in OaklandNew York Times
Federal agents raid Calif. marijuana universityThe Associated Press
Oaksterdam Marijuana School in California Raided by U.S.San Francisco Chronicle
BusinessWeek –San Jose Mercury News
all 402 news articles »