Marijuana Dispensary Mocks U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag With Dr. Seuss-Like Cartoon (Video)

Categories: Marijuana
Dr Geuss
Your local US attorney
By most measures, Harborside Health Center's fight with the federal Justice Department is going well. The nation's largest medical cannabis dispensary went untouched for nearly a year during the recent federal crackdown that began in October 2011.

Even now, it's been nearly seven months since U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag moved to shut down the club by seizing the Oakland dispensary's Embarcadero building. During that same time, Harborside won two court decisions allowing it to stay; a third ruling, which will determine if the feds can forfeit the property, will be decided at a jury trial that's yet to be scheduled.

With the major court date looming, the dispensary has produced a parable -- and reduced Haag to a Dr. Seuss-type personage.

Obama in a lab coat? In Geussian form

In the short, low-budget video "Dr. Geuss" -- as in "goose" -- the dispensary's woes are boiled down simply: All was well in the land of the grass, with a commander in chief who once puffed and passed, when in came a mean lawyer who proclaimed instead -- off with their head!

We paraphrase, but only slightly. Take a look at a somewhat simplified narration of the whole saga to date:

All of the major points are hit upon, though six other dispensaries on top of Vapor Room and Divinity Tree were shut down, and Haag has yet to "shut them all down, one by one." She's also not said "off with their heads" that we know of (which to us is a bit more Carrollish than Geussian). More importantly, it's not entirely clear if the president can end this particular battle in the drug war in one swift Executive Order; it appears Congress, the attorney general, and ultimately the DEA are more in charge here, and Obama himself has alluded that this is Congress' issue, not his.

The "Dr Geuss" behind the little bit of whimsy is Goose Duarte, general manager of Harborside Health Center in San Jose, which the feds have also targeted. The voice in the clip is that of Andrew DeAngelo, the brother of Harborside founder Steven DeAngelo (the fella in the video with the pork pie hat and pigtails), an ACT-trained actor and the GM of Harborside Oakland, who tells us that the idea isn't to mock Haag or to hope a viral video changes Obama's mind.

Haag -- whose name is pronounced "Hayg" and not "Hahg" as it is in the video -- has had a rough go of it, with some very unflattering representations in print and effigy lobbed her way. Does being portrayed as a Blue Meanie-like figure help Harborside's case?

"We did not sit back and ask ourselves how we could further antagonize them, and then came up with 'THE HAAG'," Andrew DeAngelo explained in an e-mail. "What we're trying to do here is make light of a very serious situation."

We did not ask for this fight, but we will not sit back or run away either. That is not how you create change in this country. We could've made a documentary that showed how stressed out and worried we are, how petrified our families are, not to mention our employees. Being in the cross-hairs of the feds is scary as hell. There are all kinds of stories to tell that would be dark and probably angry. But one of the powerful lessons that cannabis has to teach us, one of the healing properties of the plant, is the sense of humor that it brings out in us--the childlike quality that should be a part of our adult lives and is often lost in our modern and hectic world. Cannabis can help restore this and that is the spirit in which THE HAAG was made.

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Barry Eisenberg
Barry Eisenberg

Mama Haag,s attitude is influenced subconsciously by her teen children, but her viciousness probably stems as much from ambition as misguided maternalism.She's a mess.


Reauthorization Act of 1998 - Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225
Responsibilities. -- The Director... shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that -- (A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration...

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