Oaksterdam University Pledges to Re-open After Federal Raid on Marijuana Leader

What many saw as the inevitable hit Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee on Monday, when federal agents came knocking at the home and businesses of the man who has become the marijuana movement’s de-facto figurehead.

After Lee revived a moribund part of downtown Oakland with a school dedicated to the pot tradeand used proceeds from the business to try and legalize marijuana with Proposition 19 in 2010,U.S. Marshals and agents from the IRS and DEA raided all of the downtown Oakland businessesconnected to “General” Lee: Oaksterdam University, medical marijuana dispensaryCoffeeshop Blue Sky, and a plant nursery connected to the dispensary.

“We sort of expected this in 2010 — not 2012,” said Jeff Jones, Lee’s  co-proponent on Prop. 19 and proprietor of the nearby Patient ID Center. Following Prop 19’s historic defeat, federal prosecutors had forced Blue Sky to relocate once, and IRS agents had audited Lee, who spent over $1 million of his own money to put Prop. 19 on the ballot.

Lee was detained at his home and released. No arrests were made, and federal agents said the search warrant and reasons for the raid are sealed by a judge.

The school will attempt to hold final classes for the semester as scheduled on Wednesday, even though the final project — a crop of marijuana ready for harvest, intended for an MS patient — was seized by authorities. Whether Blue Sky will reopen — and what chilling effect the raids will have on the movement — is still unclear.

Dozens of federal agents broke down doors in a pre-7 a.m. raid and spent the morning seizing university records, growing equipment, computers, and an unknown amount of marijuana from Oaksterdam’s Broadway campus. The feds also snatched the final project for students whose last class is Wednesday, according to Oaksterdam spokeswoman Dale Sky Jones, executive chancellor of the university.

In prying open gates and doors a the school and the nearby Oaksterdam museum and gift shop, agents caused “tens of thousands” of dollars of damage, said Jones, but did not disturb the museum’s collection of vintage hemp products and 19th-century medical cannabis artifacts.

It’s not clear if federal authorities plan to charge Lee with crimes. A spokeswoman with the DEA told media on Monday that all details were under a judge’s seal.

Lee did not return messages left on his cell phone, and his counsel, San Francisco-based attorney Laurence Lichtor, was traveling and could not be reached.

A prominent Oakland citizen, Lee had headed up his neighborhood’s public safety committee and also sat on the committee that oversaw the implementation of Measure Z, the 2004 Oakland law that made adult use of cannabis the lowest priority for law enforcement. The measure has also led to the opening of several so-called “Measure Z” clubs, which dispense marijuana without requiring a doctor’s recommendation. It was rumored a Measure Z club was connected to Oaksterdam, but it could not be confirmed if it was open on Monday.

Enrollment had fallen at Oaksterdam since the federal government’s crackdown began last October, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Speaking on Lee’s behalf, Jones predicted Blue Sky, one of Oakland’s four registered and taxpaying medical marijuana dispensaries, would also reopen.

“I know Richard’s a fighter. If I were a betting woman, I’d bet Blue Sky will reopen,” said Jones, who said the raids on Lee are a continuation of federal activity against the movement’s visible leaders. Federal activity also shut down a cooperation between county sheriffs and growers in Mendocino County as well as hundreds of dispensaries across the state (five in the Bay Area, but nearly all dispensaries in San Diego and Sacramento counties).

The crop from the pot plants that were to be students’ final project was intended for Yvonne Westbrook White, who has multiple sclerosis, Jones said. “They’re going after the people telling everyone to pay their taxes and respect the law,” she said. “This is an attack on the leader of the movement.”

Despite losing 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent, Prop. 19, the effort to allow adult Californians to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana, no doctor’s recommendation necessary, still served as a highwater mark for the marijuana legalization movement. Spending a total of $3.4 million — including over $1 million from Lee — Prop. 19 won more votes than for GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

Some marijuana advocates had asked Lee to wait until 2012. This year, multiple efforts to put a successor measure on the ballot appear stalled out for lack of funds.

– Article from SF WEEKLY.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. ROBERTBERTRANDGRIFFITH on

    Apologies as defined as a formal, public statement of regret, such as one issued by a newspaper, government, or other organization.

    CONCRETE FACTS.REALITY.PROCESSING INFORMATION.
    STROLLING IN A DREAM.

  2. Anonymous on

    to me i am truly revolted that things like that are happening in 2012.
    Raiding of learning institute devoted to cannabis plant and admired in many other countries in the world: that is a real shame.

  3. Repeal Cannabis Prohibition, Now! on

    Could you refrain from posting this on every article as it’s rambling and mostly unrelated. Please feel free to post in any and all Lyme Disease forums. Also, the comment moderator could be a little bit more on the ball, as any other site would quickly purge the purely antagonistic ad hominem that’s all too prevalent here these days. Maybe you could include a disclaimer above your comment field that states: ‘Keep it civil (no personal attacks, etc) and on-topic or your comment will be deleted’. It’s hard to take your website seriously when you allow such dubious content to remain. Don’t let one lowbrow, sadistic troll with a dislike for Marc tarnish and spin every comment section with their insults and muck-slinging. Clearly, they’re here only in a pathetic attempt to incite hostility and stymie any logical, factual discussion of the topic, not to have a rational, respectful back-and-forth. Delete that tripe!

  4. Anonymous on

    Multiple tornadoes cause massive damage across Dallas, Fort Worth and North Texas
    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 6:50 PM

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/dallas/tornadoes-cause-massive-damage-across-dallas-fort-worth-184640541.html

    Apr 03 WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLEWITNESS HISTORY — THE DOCUMENT ESTABLISHES LOSS OF RULE
    http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/CRC_Petition_DEA_Answer.pdf
    STANDARD ATTORNEY LIES SUPPORTING ENEMY COMBATANTS POSITION AND MAKING THE OFFICIAL RATIONALE FOR THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS LOSS OF RIGHT TO BE AN AUTHORITY (i.e., WHEN A GOVERNMENT ATTACKS IT’S OWN CITIZENS — THEIR AUTHORITY HAS BEEN LOST).
    PLEASE HELP FIGHT FOR OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURE.
    WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE AS MANY CITIZENS OF THE WORLD STILL BELIEVE FALSE TRUTH WHICH KILLS AT GREAT COST.

    Apr 02 MERCY FOR THE CHILDREN/FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFEAutism And Lyme Disease Are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:44 PM To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]… morehttp://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/kate-winslet-asks-celebrities-autism-book-16010757

    http://www.ilads.org/lyme_research/lyme_articles1.html

    Autism And Lyme Disease Are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds

    by http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

    03 July, 2008

    Why is Lyme Disease Not JUST a Tick-Borne Disease

    Why is Lyme Disease Not JUST a Tick-Borne Disease Any More?
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | February 05 2012 | 20,240 views

    By Dr. Mercola

    Some experts feel that almost everyone has been exposed to Lyme disease and may have it in one way, shape or form.

    Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, but clearly there are those who have it and are severely disabled by it.

    Dr. Klinghardt—who is one of my earliest mentors in natural health and always on the leading edge—has actually suffered with Lyme disease himself, and as a result, he’s passionate about finding effective natural treatments for Lyme.

    The Ongoing Discovery of Lyme Disease

    It’s now been fairly well-established that chronic infection is an underlying factor in most chronic illnesses. Diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue are all turning out to be expressions of chronic infections.

    “Right at the center of that is the ongoing discovery of Lyme disease,” Dr. Klinghardt says.

    Lyme disease has recently received a new definition. It now refers to illnesses transferred by insects, as opposed to simply a tick-borne disease. Mosquitoes can carry Lyme disease and many other serious infections, as can spiders, fleas and mites.

    Feb 05

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/07/medical-marijuana-becoming-blockbuster-drug.aspx

    The Illegal Herb that Fights Cancer

    Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 07 2011 | 420,850 views

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/26/obama-war-on-weed.aspx?e_cid=20111126_DNL_art_1

    The Medical Miracle You’ll Get Arrested for Using

    Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 26 2011 | 255,598 views

    5 Responses to “Attorney General Holder Says One Thing While His U.S. Attorneys Do Another”

    RICHARD BRANSON AND MARIA BARTIROMO HELD TO GOOD SAMARITAN LAW FOR WEED LYME CANCER CRIME

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 5:00 AM

    Richard Branson Teaches Maria Bartiromo How To Play Pool

    CAPTION CONTEST:

    Julia La Roche|March 05, 2012|

    WHO KNEW WHAT WHEN – KEY TO PROSECUTION

    Mar 31 use every social media resource to help get your needed benefit

    March 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

    We are assaulted and must respond to the Lyme Plague ( see plum island conspiracy theory by Jesse Ventura the former governor of Minnesota ).

    Look at the time date action of the making of marijuana illegal.

    We are surviving a living holocaust.

    Why are we not using the 1946 tort law to make claim for the assault by the government?

    Please please use whats left of your mind and living will while you can.

    March 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I believe your first hand knowledge of the degree of inability to respond to reasonable fact has lead to the necessity of a logical conclusion.

    We have an international problem with the US military facing a human rights violation for war crimes against citizens of many nations as a result of biological war.

    The cannabis community realizes the human rights violations and is focusing on utilizing the united nations human rights efforts to plea the case and facilitate international resolve.

    Submitted by ROBERTBERTRANDGRIFFITH () on Wed, 03/07/2012 – 00:07

    The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used by all parties in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided.

    Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=5787866&page=1

    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np8002673?journalCode=jnprdf&quickLinkVolume=71&quickLinkPage=1427&volume=71

    The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.

    Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime.

    http://www.thehumansideoflyme.net/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhdBNmCANzk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95eF4Dn3CL0
    http://www.underourskin.com/