Pres. Obama: Stop the War on Cannabis Patients
Melinda Haag and other U.S. Attorneys are waging war against California’s medical cannabis patients. Now she's threatening to shut down Harborside Health Center.
Haag has closed over 15 dispensaries this year in Marin, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, depriving tens of thousands of patients of their medicine. Her war against cannabis patients displays blatant disrespect for California law and the Obama administration’s policy to respect State law. As recently as June, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Federal government would, “limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law.”
Harborside Health Center is a medical cannabis dispensary in Oakland that provides medicine to more than 100,000 qualified patients. They are known for meticulous compliance with State and local law. Now Haag is intent on shutting them down by seizing their property, saying simply that Harborside is providing medicine to too many sick people—even though State law explicitly states that there is no size limit for dispensaries.
Closing dispensaries like Harborside affects patients in a very real way—patients like five-year-old Jayden David, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy. In his first five years, Jayden had a seizure every day of his life. He rode in an ambulance 45 times, tried 22 different medications from around the world, and took over 25,000 pharmaceutical pills. As a last resort, his father Jason consulted Harborside Health Center, who worked with their cultivators to develop a non-psychoactive cannabis tincture to help Jayden. Since then, Jayden has experienced his first seizure-free day, and he can now function and enjoy a much improved quality of life.
At Melinda Haag’s accelerating rate, soon there will be no place for patients like Jayden to get their medicine. Haag must be stopped before she completely undermines California’s voter-approved medical cannabis laws and cuts off safe access for thousands of patients.
Please urge the President and Mr. Holder to freeze and reevaluate all medical cannabis cases throughout the federal system for State law compliance only. If they comply with State law, the Federal government should leave them alone.
- US Attorney, Northern District, California
- US Attorney General
On Monday, July 9, US Attorney Melinda Haag served property forfeiture notices to shut down Harborside Health Center, a medical cannabis dispensary in Oakland, CA that provides medicine to more than 100,000 qualified patients.
Just last month, Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress that the Federal government would, “limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law.” Harborside is known for meticulous compliance with State and local law. They maintain excellent relationships with their neighbors and with Oakland’s city government, and they pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual taxes.
Ms. Haag did not allege any specific violations of State law: in her statement, she just said, “The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws.” California law in People v. Colvin is explicit that there is no size limit on dispensaries—yet she arbitrarily made one up to cut off thousands of patients.
Sen. Boxer and Rep. Pelosi: You have a responsibility to your constituents who voted for California’s medical cannabis law nearly 20 years ago. Please, speak out against Ms. Haag’s attack on California’s laws, and urge the President and Mr. Holder to freeze and reevaluate all federal medical cannabis cases for State law compliance.
President Obama and Attorney General Holder: Ms. Haag’s actions are in direct conflict with your recommendations and statements around state medical marijuana laws. Please, keep your word and take control over a U.S. Attorney who is enforcing her own agenda against medical cannabis, and get all your US Attorneys to follow your direction to leave organizations alone if they comply with State law.
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