On Wednesday, adding new fuel to the fire already lit over the issue of medical marijuana, the city of Oakland sued U.S. authorities in a bid to block them from closing a locally famous medical marijuana dispensary, which is also featured on the Discovery Channel reality show “Weed Wars.”
In July, trying to find a way to attain their objective of closing down the medical marijuana shop, the U.S. Attorney’s office made a forfeiture action against the property on which the medical marijuana dispensary is operating. In response to that action, Oakland’s city attorney, on Wednesday filed the city’s own action at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asking the federal court to declare the federal government attempts to close down Harborside Health Center as unlawful.
In a statement, Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said, “This lawsuit is about protecting the rights of legitimate medical patients … I am deeply dismayed that the federal government would seek to deny these rights and deprive thousands of seriously ill Californians of access to safe, affordable, and effective medicine.”
The lawsuit, which is not seeking damages, names Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for the District and Attorney General Eric Holder as defendants.
Oakland is known to be California’s most tolerant community when it comes to medical marijuana, and in the past, Oakland officials have openly criticized the federal approach to indiscriminately bludgeoning medical marijuana operations. However, this is the first time that the city has filed a lawsuit against federal muscle.
Contrary to research evidence from across the world, and changing approaches to medical marijuana in other developing countries, the federal government in USA continues to hold marijuana as an illegal drug while at least 17 states in the country hold medical marijuana as a legal substance.