While the U.S. government ignored the 2012 Bay Area High Times Cannabis Cup, they aren't ignoring the self-proclaimed "largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world."
Federal prosecutors have filed civil forfeiture actions against the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California. The government wants the dispensary to hand over two properties which serve "more than 100,000 patients" because:
"The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state's medical marijuana laws and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. The filing of the civil forfeiture complaints against the two Harborside properties is part of our measured effort to address the proliferation of illegal marijuana businesses in the Northern District of California."
The clinic doesn't plan on complying until a judge says so. A statement published on the dispensary's website contested:
"Harborside has nothing to be ashamed of, and will contest the Federal actions openly and publicly, with every legal means at our disposal. We look forward to our day in court, and are confident that justice is on our side. Come what may, we shall continue to care for our patients unless we are physically prevented from doing so."
California Attorney General Kamala Harris seems to be on the dispensaries' side. She told the New York Times that the federal government is "ill equipped to be the decision makers as to which providers are violating the law" AND that the meddling is only increasing "uncertainty about how Californians can legitimately comply with state law."
If the drug is helping people who need it live better lives, we don't see the big deal.
Let's be honest. People are going to smoke pot regardless of whether or not it's legal and we'd rather have them going to a controlled environment to purchase it, instead of a drug dealer on the street.
We're a little surprised it took the government this long to take action against this particular dispensary because Harborside's daily activities aren't a secret. The clinic has been the subject of Discovery Channel's Weed Wars since the show premiered last December.
Executive Director Steve DeAngelo hoped the show would not only educate the public about the controversial industry, but reveal "how Harborside treats cannabis as a medicine" and prove "a high standard of medical care."
Guess the feds didn't like the show.