City of Berkeley Fights Back Against Federal, Anti-Medical-Marijuana Bullies

The City of Berkeley has filed a claim aiming to protect the city’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, Berkeley Patients Group, from closure prompted by the federal government. In May, US Attorney Melinda Haag targeted the dispensary’s landlord for asset forfeiture, a bullying tactic that has been used regularly in the feds’ war on state-sanctioned, legal medical pot programs. Now, Berkeley is fighting back.

“It is time for the federal government to wake up and stop these asset forfeiture actions,” Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said in a press release. “Berkeley Patients Group has complied with the rules and caused no problems in the City. The federal government should not use its scarce resources to harass local law-abiding businesses.”

The Berkeley Patients Group has been legally providing marijuana to patients in the city since 1999, complying with local laws. Nonetheless, Haag said in a statement this May that, “The marijuana industry has caused significant public health and safety problems in rural communities, urban centers and schools in the Northern District of California. Because some believe marijuana has medicinal value, however, we continue to take a measured approach and have only pursued asset forfeiture actions with respect to marijuana retail sales operations very near schools, parks or playgrounds, at the request of local law enforcement, or in one case, because of the sheer size of its distribution operations.”

“There are no schools around there,” Bates struck back. “It seems to me Attorney General [Eric Holder] has really messed up [going after BPG]…He needs to say ‘stop this.'”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.



  1. Anonymous UK on

    These establishments are discrete and for medical purposes only (they are not like a Dutch coffeeshops, bars or alcohol stores) so what benefit is there to siting them away from schools ? If anything parents can tell the children that cannabis is a medicine (if the children even ask) and that is a good image for a child to have rather than the DARE education that glorifies drug use and makes it seem like a cool anti-establishment thing to do.

  2. gutrod on

    This is pure bully crap. The Feds and their laws believe that they are doing God’s work. They need to be reminded that they are tampering with God’s creation: the cannabis plant that he put on this planet for a reason. The bully needs to be stood up to before he curbs his anger. In the case of the feds their anger is considerable and been the brunt of many a good person who have had their lives ruined or lost. For what? So one side can be right when they are too blind to see the light and the truth. They are blinded by religion. Berkely, the world should be very proud of your stance against the humungous inhumane machine. Kudos to ya.

  3. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    They should be focusing all of their resources and efforts on the cartels that have distribution networks set up in American cities throughout the country if they’re going after operations from largest to smallest, the facts being that none of the other criteria are logical reasons, i.e. not very near schools, parks or playgrounds, and not at the request of local law enforcement.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst end of the rating system, I give Haag 10 rat turds for pulling this shit. And there’s more where that came from, Mel. Everyone knows that the bad asses are fighting down on the Mexican side of the border, and Holder, you need to transfer there people down there and just leave their offices empty, un-staffed so that they leave everybody in Berkeley and elsewhere where legal according to state law simply alone. They’ve got balls, really? Then they’re perfect for south of the border consultation. Transfer them. Close some offices.