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US Attorney Defies White House And Continues Persecuting Medical Marijuana Facilities

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melinda haag harborside medical marijuana berkeley patients groupThe medical marijuana community was elated when the White House sent out new federal guidelines earlier this year, which was supposed to ease enforcement in states that have legal medical marijuana laws. I was one of many people skeptical of the new guidelines, considering the same thing happened in 2009, yet record numbers of dispensaries were raided and people arrested.

It looks like Melinda Haag, the United States Attorney for Northern California, either didn’t get the memo to step back from medical marijuana enforcement, or that we are seeing 2009 all over again. Melinda Haag is moving ahead with her desire to close Harborside Health Center and the Berkeley Patients Group. Is this a rogue attorney pursuing her own agenda, or is this a sign that the recently released guidelines are bogus? I guess only time will tell.

According to BPG attorney Henry Wykowski, Haag is ignoring the new federal guidelines spelled out in a memo issued on August 29 by the Obama Justice Department and authored by Assistant Attorney General James Cole. Wykowski said he met with a federal judge and Haag’s office on October 29 for a case management conference involving Haag’s efforts to close BPG. Like in the Harborside case, Haag is attempting to shutter BPG by seizing the property it occupies via a process known as forfeiture. But Wykowski said the “judge questioned why this case was proceeding in light of the Cole Memo. The US Attorney had a very difficult time articulating an answer.”

According to the East Bay Express:

Haag threatened BPG with forfeiture in April 2012, and forced the collective to close its doors at 2477 San Pablo Avenue. The collective moved and re-opened in December at 2366 San Pablo. Haag responded in May by filing a legal action to seize BPG’s second property. She started coming after Harborside’s location — and its storefront in San Jose — in July 2012.

By comparison, the US attorney for the Central District of California, Andre Birotte Jr., dropped four forfeiture cases against dispensary landlords after Cole 2013 came out. The defense attorney in those cases, Matthew Pappas, said Haag and other federal prosecutors in California who are still targeting legal medical cannabis dispensaries are “off the reservation. … She needs to be exposed. … I can’t imagine she would be able to continue doing this unless folks in Washington are unaware of what she’s up to.”

Below is a delightful video about Melinda Haag courtesy of Harborside. It’s a spoof on a Dr. Seuss classic:

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Johnny Green

43 Comments

  1. Robert Dewayne King on

    people have been political animals since before we left the trees ! Voting is your RIGHT , if you choose not to exercise that right then you have no valid comment to make about who ends up winning the elections !

  2. You should know that the percentage of late-term abortions are miniscule. No one likes abortion, and it is pathetic and ignorant for you to even suggest that. And personal responsibility works both ways. Tell me, what’s the responsibility of the potential father who walks away five minutes after he’s finished? If you want the abortion rate to go down, I suggest you start passing out condoms.

  3. You should know that the percentage of late-term abortions are miniscule. No one likes abortion, and it is pathetic and ignorant for you to even suggest that. And personal responsibility works both ways. Tell me, what’s the responsibility of the potential father who walks away five minutes after he’s finished? If you want the abortion rate to go down, I suggest you start passing out condoms.

  4. Those are my actual initials, so I’m not all that ashamed. “Societal shaping” sounds like an uphill battle, but us socialist Marxists are an optimistic bunch,

  5. MrPC:

    Aren’t you ashamed to call yourself “PC”? Political correctness is the vile tool of societal shaping dreamed up by socialists and marxists.

  6. No, Republicans don’t want to control your reproduction system. They would prefer that you control your own reproductive system with something called personal responsibility. And, they don’t want our tax dollars going to the terminating of human life, especially later term “partial birth” abortion. If you like partial birth abortion, I suggest you view pictures and videos of the procedure. Caution……you may have nightmares.

  7. They seem more like drinkers to me, and maybe a little nose candy. Basically, the same things they were doing when they were frat boys but now they’re armed.

  8. Sorry HempShare, I never lie to myself, it is unhealthy. I don’t think there is a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans, but at least Democrats don’t want to control my reproductive system.

  9. Robert Dewayne King on

    I accept no lies , EVER !
    But politics is a dirty business and no matter how you slice it , if you cant give at all then you will never win an argument !
    Like what happened to the Tparty over the ACA !
    As far as miserable partys , check out the political situation of the rest of the world before you start on me about it !
    I am a retired us serviceman living in scotland and could care less who is on top so long as the proper running of gov is that partys top priority !

  10. Johnny Choronic59 on

    We can do something about it!. But it take’s a smart warrior with a army of brother’s and sister’s. Johnny Choronic59.

  11. Johnny Choronic59 on

    These people who are supporting prohibition by law should be put to death for killing thousand’s of sick American’s for their own self gain. The one’s involved with keeping this vile, criminal law alive and causing the demise of so many will feel the aftermath. It is nothing more than pure conspiracy against the lives’ of the American people and the Government is the true criminal here. By letting little children suffer with having hundred’s of seizure’s a week knowing cannabis cures this condition. All because of these fat ass prohibition loving politician’s who are setting behind their desk who keep stuff anti-drug monies into their deep, void pocket’s. Not giving a damn about the sweet little children like Sharlet our little miracle girl. Please share this and let the comfortably ignorant and the uneducated know where we are coming from and what we are about. Your mellow Missouri BUD of a mild flavor Johnny Choronic59.

  12. Hempshare:

    You are barking up the wrong tree. I am not responsible for any politicians (Democrat or Republican), because I do not vote. Voting is a suggestion box for slaves.

    “All societies who used cannibis ascended to at least the 5th dimension”

    You undercut your position by posting these silly statements for which there is NO evidence. Unless you have some that you would like to share with us.

  13. Interesting idea. It would be fun to watch the email stream between lobbyists, billionaires and Fortune 500 CEOs and our duly-elected officials.

  14. Look folks. Corporate campuses are empty. EVERYONE works from home. Yet, we let our elected officials leave their districts to collude with other liars in Washington DC. End Physically Centralized Government. They can telecommute from anywhere. There is no fear of cyber bullshit like they are scripting.

  15. Bob? Are you fucking kidding me? You mean, you’re willing to accept lies so you think we should too? GFY. Quit shitting on our World with your miserable parties.

  16. Sorry pain you are lying to yourself to believe you know whats going on. You think there is a difference between Democrats & Republicans. That is a completely Racist & Classist belief. Go find your reflection in the mirror. You don’t currently have one.

  17. No, WE are liars AND fools. WE are so stupid as to believe ANYTHING from these peoples’ mouths. Corporate America, Academia (Medicine’s degree factory), Religion AND Government all PROHIBITED the most complete food in nature – Hemp. Now they are trying to perpetuate a story that Hemp has THC so it needs to be regulated. THC doesn’t even exist in the bio-synthetic pathway of Cannabis, LET ALONE HEMP. So what we are is LIARS. We see in the 3rd Dimension, are birthed into the 4th Dimension, BUT indoctrinated BACK into the 3rd Dimension. ALL PAST SOCIETIES WHO FREELY USED CANNABIS ASCENDED TO AT LEAST THE 5th Dimension. So, yes, we the advanced human race have been systematically programmed via a dormant Endocannabinoid Receptor System, Poison Food, and MKULTRA mind-control to be idiotic & stupid, lacking the capacity to critically think. Get your heads out of your asses, and get rid of these people.

  18. You trust the same group that has suppressed Hemp under the guise of lies for 75 years? Who is the idiot here. We are enslaved. We can’t do a fucking thing about it, so we come and whine in comment sections. The American Spring will never happen because of the pipe dream in all the racist & classists heads. IF you wouldn’t give everything you have for the Cannabis movement – GET THE FUCK OUT! We don’t need fringe folks who are uneducated and can’t rebut the stupidity of ANY PROHIBITION.

  19. Robert Dewayne King on

    It can be hard to hold a politician to election promises at best ! But when the opposition makes it their sworn duty to attack and resist ANY program or decision made by that person it becomes impossible ! And not his fault if he fights as hard as our current POTUS for his ideals !

  20. EVERYTHING is a kerfuffle in Washington, but you’re right, let’s head to Washington and camp out at the White House until legalization is achieved. Considering I’m in New Mexico, land of inferior bud, I suggest you bring the medicine.

  21. No doubt the President and most everyone else in Washington have been distracted by such petty issues as the Affordable Care Act implementation, Snowden’s revelations about national security, the Benghazi kerfuffle, Iran, Pakistan, immigration and much more. Where are their priorities? I think they should drop everything and make cannabis totally legal by next week, if not sooner.

  22. Nah, Cali wasn’t the only MMJ state that was unfairly targeted. It will be interesting to see this play out, to see if these AGs are acting alone or in concert with others. Is Obama dragging his feet so that big pharma will get a better foothold before legalization? Kinda seems that way to me, although he seems to have a lot bigger problems than legalization.

  23. Please explain where the FDA fits in… Don’t they have to make a recommendation to the President before he can take action?

  24. How can you fire her for doing her job? Just because we think she is doing it wrong?
    It is up to her “superiors” to reign her in, and if they don’t, perhaps they are not doing THEIR jobs.
    Just sayin’.

  25. Dear Boris, if you think the President lied, you must learn to translate political-speak. And watch out, it’s just as difficult to decipher as lawyer-speak. And about that crashing and burning, I think people felt the same way during Clinton-Lewinsky-gate, eh?

  26. Although Holder could direct the DEA to change cannabis to another classification, that would only change the criminal status of medical marijuana. Until congress changes the law, recreational use or possession would still be a federal crime.

  27. you’re completely and thoroughly WRONG – the Executive branch CAN reschedule cannabis WITHOUT Congress… the Controlled Substance Act is fairly unique. The law explicitly gives the executive branch the right to change the legal status of any drug without Congressional involvement. If the administration, after examining the latest scientific research, determines that cannabis shouldn’t be Schedule I it has the power to move it to a lower schedule, which would make medical marijuana legal under federal law, or even unschedule it all together, which would effectively legalize it.

    Several sitting governors in states with medical marijuana have petitioned Obama asking him to reschedule marijuana, and currently the Obama administration is actually fighting an effort in federal courtto get the executive branch to provide a legitimate review of marijuana. There is no reason Obama can’tsimply stop fighting the case and reschedule marijuana without needing to involve Congress.

    Of course there are many political and regulator reasons why it would be better for Congress to adopted a new law tailored to address the issue, but the point is Obama isn’t helplessly constrained by federal law on this matter like he pretends to be. The federal law currently gives Obama incredibly wide latitude on this issue, including the ability to unilaterally change marijuana’s legal status.

  28. “Blame Congress”.

    BS. Haag does what Holder tells her to do. Holder does what Obama tells him to do.

  29. Obama is a liar and a fool. Says one thing does another. Now his regime is crashing and burning, because he lied to the American people one too many times.

  30. I must commend Harborside on that great video. The art and the Dr. Seuss-like writing are top notch.
    If no one stops Haag, I guess we will know how much weight the administrative’s directives actually have.
    Is she in it for herself and her reputation, or is she just doing it to spite President Obama?
    Her intentions would only matter if there was a way to use them to stop her actions.

  31. Blame congress. They could change the current Schedule 1 classification, and in fact legislation has been introduced to do so. Holder can’t change the law (nor can Obama, of course) but they can issue directives, and have done so. This woman is apparently a zealot, or planning to run for office in a conservative area, or both. Nobody is bothering us in Colorado.

  32. Back in September, THIS is what Melinda Haag’s office had to say about the Cole Memo – why are you so surprised by this NOW? she’s just following through on her original comment. Besides – the Cole Memo was just another “feel good” comment from the Hypocrite in Chief.

    “The office is evaluating the new guidelines and for the most part it appears that the cases that have been brought in this district are already in compliance with the guidelines,” a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for the District of Northern California Melinda Haag told the East Bay Express. “Therefore, we do not expect a significant change.”

  33. The Obama administration has given their sheep a second dosage of kool-aid. The memo might “look good” to his fanbase, but in practice, marijuana is still Schedule I completely illegal under federal law, medical or not (a dispensary is looked at the same under federal law as a guy who is dealing for the Mexican drug cartels). The US Attorneys can continue do as they’ve always done : prosecute people for marijuana. Remember the results after the medical marijuana memo in 2009? Remember?

  34. I think you were felling a bit more optimistic than I was. Haag is the person I had in my skeptical mind as potential to ignore the memo. She’s sealing her fate, and not in a good way (for her). I’m praying that someone from the Feds will step up, put an end to her nonsense and defiance, and make an example of her to all the other prohibition zealots in other states. Harborside has done more good for more people than she ever will.

    I think part of this is an ego trip for her, for not only does she want to take OPG down, but she wants to make an example out of the city of Oakland for supporting them.

    Loved the braids.

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