OAKLAND, CALIF., Aug. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
On July 10, 2012, federal agents taped a notice of property forfeiture to the doors of Harborside Health Center, a medical cannabis dispensary with locations in Oakland and San Jose, Calif. If successful, this action by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag would shut down Harborside, forcing thousands of patients back into the underground, illegal market.
August 2nd U. S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced H.R. 6335, is called the Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act. It would prohibit the feds from using asset forfeiture proceedings to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise close state-legal cannabis dispensaries, and "begin to align federal law to states' laws that allow for safe access to medical marijuana," she said in a statement. California State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee said lawful dispensaries under attack in California contribute $100 million in sales taxes each year, and the federal crackdown on law-abiding businesses undermines public safety. "It's time for federal government at the highest levels to put a stop to harassing legitimate business such as Harborside Health Center," she wrote. The closure of Harborside would have an especially destructive effect on California's most medically challenged patients, who are less able to negotiate the dangers of the illegal marketplace and who cannot risk using untested cannabis from unregulated sources. Likewise, the patients who volunteered their stories for this video are afraid that if Harborside closes, they will have no reliable, safe source for the medicine they depend on.
NORML estimates that there are now more than 1.1 million medical cannabis patients in California alone. Patients use medical cannabis to alleviate suffering from a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, cancer, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and HIV-AIDS.
Harborside Health Center was founded in 2006 to ensure these medical cannabis patients receive medicine that is safe and effective, and is provided in full compliance with California law. Since then, Harborside has become known nationwide as a model medical cannabis dispensary that has set the standard for best practices in legal compliance and responsible operation. If you haven't already done so, we invite you to ask President Obama to stop the war on cannabis patients by signing our petition at saveharborside.org.
The Harborside Health Center logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13625
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Harborside Health Center
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