Marijuana Federal vs State: Melinda Haag Defies Congress and Breaks Federal Law to Continue Prosecution of Harborside Health Centers

City of Oakland Argues Standing

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag Defies Congress and Breaks Federal Law to Continue Prosecution of Harborside Health Center

What: City of Oakland Argues it's Standing in Oakland v. Eric Holder, Jr.

Where: 9th District Court of Appeals, 95 7th St., Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA.

When: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 9 AM

US Attorneys working for Haag will appear in court despite passage of the Farr-Rohrabacher Amendment prohibiting the DOJ from spending any funds to block implementation of state medical cannabis laws.

"Unless government lawyers are working on a volunteer basis, they are breaking the law." –Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director Harborside Health Center

City of Oakland to Argue: City has standing to sue the Federal Government to avert public health and safety crisis.

In July 2012, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag launched a federal civil forfeiture suit to seize the properties where Harborside Health Center is located, as part of a larger crackdown on California's medical cannabis law. In October, 2012, the City of Oakland sued to block the civil forfeiture suit on the grounds it would cause a public heath and safety crisis. A lower court ruling in 2013 dismissed Oakland vs. Eric Holder, Jr. , and the City's appeal of that ruling is now before the 9th Circuit.

Haag Persists After Holder Kills Civil Forfeiture Program

Just two weeks ago, Eric Holder ended a federal/state civil forfeiture program because it allowed seizure of property without any criminal charge or conviction. Harborside Health Center has never been charged or convicted of a state or federal crime, but Haag shows no sign of easing her efforts to seize the properties it is located in. 

"It's difficult to understand federal logic. Two weeks ago, Eric Holder said the government shouldn't seize property without a criminal conviction—but that is exactly what Melinda Haag is trying to do to Harborside. We have never even been charged with a committing a single crime, much less been convicted. If Attorney General Holder doesn't realize what's going on in his own agency, he must be smoking something a lot stronger than cannabis".—Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director ,Harborside Health Center.

In 2006, the City of Oakland granted Harborside Health Center (HHC) a permit to operate.  Today it is widely recognized as model, gold standard medical cannabis dispensary, is now the largest medicinal dispensary in the United States, serving more than 150,000 patients.  Since Harborside's opening, over 30 states have passed medical cannabis laws, and four states have legalized the adult use of cannabis.

"The legal cannabis industry is now the fastest growing industry in America. It has created tens of thousands of new jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes. No matter how much she tries, Federal Attorney Melinda Haag cannot turn back the clock. If her bosses don't stop her, California voters will in 2016" Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director Harborside Health Center

Headed to US Supreme Court

The 9th Circuit ruling will almost certainly be appealed to the US Supreme Court by whichever party loses, and the Harborside litigation is expected to continue well into 2017.

"Harborside still has zero intention of closing its doors. We expect to be open and serving patients long after Melinda Haag leaves office." - Harborside Executive Director, Steve DeAngelo

About Harborside:

Founded by national cannabis leader, Steve DeAngelo, in 2006, Harborside Health Center is the nation's largest, model medical cannabis dispensary. The San Jose and Oakland medicinal cannabis collective offers its 150,000 registered patients free holistic healing services, lab-tested medicine and education. Harborside was featured on the Discovery Channel miniseries, "Weed Wars," in December 2011, on the premiere episode of CNN's "Inside Man," hosted by Morgan Spurlock in June 2013, and in Fortune Magazine's cover story, "Yes We Cannabis," in April 2013.  DeAngelo has his first book coming out "The Cannabis Manifesto" in September of 2015 through Random House/ North Atlantic Books. 

DeAngelo also co-founded the nation's first laboratory cannabis-testing facility, Steep Hill Labs, and the country's first cannabis investment and research firm, The Arc View Group. 

"Out of the shadows and into the light" epitomizes DeAngelo's mission to enlighten the public on the many medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant and actively works to empower the country to change its image of medical marijuana.