Medical Marijuana: Feds Show Little Interest in San Jose, Where Dispensaries Are Illegal

Do Feds Know The Way?
Aside from strikes at the medical marijuana industry's most vocal, visible, and influential leaders, little rhyme or reason has accompanied the federal Justice Department's crackdown on California cannabis.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag offered no comment or explanation as her office shut down roughly one-third of San Francisco's licensed and taxpaying dispensaries. City officials in Berkeley and Fairfax complained that the dispensaries shuttered there were model citizens and did nothing wrong. Likewise, all San Francisco clubs shuttered enjoyed full compliance with the law, according to Health Department officials.

And until Haag's office sent an asset forfeiture notice to Harborside Health Center's location in San Jose, as well as its Oakland center of federally illegal marijuana distribution, Haag had paid scant attention to the South Bay. If she did, she might discover that all city dispensaries in San Jose have been operating in violation of city law since February.

We can understand the North and West Bay biases, but then again, we're not prosecutors.
Thus far, Justice Department officials have used only certified letters to shut down Bay Area dispensaries: seven San Francisco dispensaries have shut down after their landlords received letters warning of property seizures and stiff prison terms.

The only raid conducted during this time was the April 2 action carried out on Oaksterdam University and its founder, Richard Lee, who bankrolled the 2010 marijuana legalization measure Proposition 19.

Lee has not been charged with any crimes. No Bay Area dispensary operators have been indicted in federal court, though several have lost costly tax assessment battles with the IRS.

Haag's position on medical marijuana has evolved somewhat, though the endgame is the same.

In initial public comments about the crackdown, which began Oct. 7, 2011, Haag and other prosecutors said only dispensaries that violated state law would be shut down. When that appeared to be untrue -- no violations of state law were ever alleged against the dozen-plus dispensaries shut in the Bay Area -- Haag then said only dispensaries near children would be targeted for prosecution.

In a release sent last month following asset forfeiture proceedings filed against Harborside's landlords, Haag insinuated that since the operation was so large -- Harborside, at 108,000 patients, is the biggest dispensary on the planet -- it must be doing something wrong.

San Jose declared its dispensaries illegal in February, following suit with other cities and counties across the state fearful over a state appellate court ruling over the legality of local regulations.

"The Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (Title 20) is suspended and not in effect. Due to the current status of the above ordinances, Medical Marijuana Collectives, Cooperatives, Dispensaries, and Delivery Service businesses are not legal uses in the City of San Jose," the city's website reads.

San Jose city officials pledge to continue "enforcement action against any collectives, cooperatives, dispensaries and delivery service businesses operating in the city," but noted that dispensaries are still expected to pay their city and state sales taxes.

Haag spokesman Jack Gillund said the office had no comment in response to SF Weekly's inquiry about the law-flouting dispensaries in San Jose.

Representatives from the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a marijuana patients' advocacy group, did not respond to e-mails or calls seeking comment. But Kris Hermes, a spokesman for ASA's national chapter, noted that some South Bay dispensaries could have been federal targets without going public.

"Facilities often close quietly when they're asked to by their landlords," Hermes wrote in an e-mail. "I have not taken a poll in [San Jose], but I would bet it reflects every other area of the state (hundreds of facilities shutting down voluntarily to avoid what is a relatively small risk of prosecution)."

That the many dispensaries advertising for business in San Jose would escape federal attention would not be surprising, either, according to Hermes.

"The actions of the federal government are clear in two respects," he wrote. "They are indiscriminate and they are meant to intimidate."

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It's so stupid for the Feds to fight marijuana; it is effective, safe, and has a thousand years of use. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.



What you're not hearing is that Haag is woried about the Vietnamese gangs in San Jose that will cut her up for dog meat.  These are the gangs with 50-60 year old leadership from the last of the Vietnamese collaborators who fled Viet Nam at the end of the war to escape certain death.  They can make the Mexican Cartels look like Girl Scouts.



kevin_hunt topcommenter

According to a recently published review in the German scientific journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, the trials show “clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.” Withdrawal symptoms are hardly ever a problem in the therapeutic setting.” Investigators said that cannabis dosing may adversely impact psychomotor skills, but, they noted, “Patients who take cannabinoids at a constant dosage over an extensive period of time often develop tolerance to the impairment of psychomotor performance, so that they can drive vehicles safely.” In conclusion they said, “No acute deaths have been described that could be unequivocally attributed solely to cannabis consumption or treatment with cannabinoids.” These findings come only a couple months after a similar review of dozens of studies in California found similar results. Researchers there found the current federal classification of marijuana “not tenable” and  further concluded that, “it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.” Sources: Grotenhermen, F; Müller-Vahl, K. The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2012; 109(29-30): 495-501


I'd like to know what religion Haag claims to have since I believe her witch hunt against us is a religious prohibition motivated by her religion.


When federal employess use their own religion as a tool against others, it is normally called "ethnic cleansing" and that is a big legal no, no for federal employees.


That is why they will never admit to it. If we want to know, we have to do some investigative reporting of our own. They are not going to just come out and admit it has all been a big, ugly, damaging and unconsitutional witch hunt. 


No, it takes a real witch to say things like that. Blessed be.


It's about time the federal government recognized that a lot of Americans like to get high on something other than alcohol. If our legislators really cared about keeping people safe they would legalize every recreational drug that's safer than booze.  


That would keep alcohol as the most harmful recreational drug legally available and at the same time give people the right to legally choose safer alternatives to alcohol. A great deal of disease, harm and violence could be eliminated by giving alcohol users the right to substitute marijuana for alcohol.


It's a shame then that the UN doesn't let us do this. As long as we're a signatory to the UN's "Single Convention" treaty the UN won't let us end the federal marijuana prohibition - no matter how much harm it causes, no matter how much money it costs us and no matter how little benefit it returns.


"San Jose city officials pledge to continue "enforcement action against any Collectives, Cooperatives, Dispensaries and Delivery Service businesses operating in the City," but noted that dispensaries are still expected to pay their city and state sales taxes."

How else would they find these evil distributors of cannabis?

you cant have your cake and eat it to.

Now the FEDS will send out letters to San Jose, since closing "mega" stores now the "Mini"stores are the biggest by default

Insanity driven by media frenzy!


 @trichometrist Of course if the feds are really paying attention, they will also know how hard I have been working to get my church legitimized. I have a tax ID number now, I'm on my way ...


They do not have a legal leg to stand on, the entire drug war is a horrible religious prohibition. We have a law for that too, it is called the first amendment to the constitution.


Now, I have a question. Why are bankers who commit fraud to crash our economy completely excused when MY people are jailed for growing, selling or possessing a completely harmless religious sacrament? 


That is a very serious question.


I'd also like to know why ASA doesn't defend my religious use. I volunteered for them for a while, but I felt completely shafted when they refused to defend my religion. I was shocked and disappointed with that. In fact it was personally devastating. I had been brutally raped over it, I think religion is a medical issue that deserves to be respected. In fact there are even laws to protect it! 


In fact, speaking as a Native American, I have a LOT OF PROBLEMS with our medical care system and how it discriminates against us for our religion. I think lawyers who refuse to uphold the law are suspicious.


I did some research on treaty arrangements, the feds OWE US medical care. That was a near constant item promised to the Native people in the treaty arrangements that the US government made with the various tribes IN EXCHANGE FOR THE LAND they got.


I think if the feds are too poor to provide us medical care, then the solution is simple and super obvious: GIVE BACK THE LAND.


It is kind of a no-brainer in basic contract law. If you can not fulfill the obligations, then the deal is off. If they can not give us medical CARE (not over priced insurance) then they can just GIVE US BACK THE LAND. I'm sure we can work it out from there. Land is very valuable.

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