Federal agents with DEA, IRS, raid marijuana trade school Oaksterdam University

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator April 2, 2012

    WANTED: For spending $1.5 million to try to legalize marijuana and for providing truthful education about it.

    OAKLAND — Federal agents swooped in Monday morning to search Oakland’s Oaksterdam University in Oakland, the state’s first cannabis industry training school.

    Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division are searching the university at the corner of 16th Street and Broadway, in the heart of the city’s widely recognized downtown cannabis-oriented district, authorities said.

    The university has been cordoned off by yellow caution tape.

    Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman, said she could not say why the agents were there other than to confirm that they were serving a federal search warrant.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/02/BABJ1NTK9T.DTL#ixzz1qtvKIJo3

    [UPDATE!] You can view video from yesterday’s federal raid, coverage of today’s march and protest in San Francisco, and also read Richard Lee’s first public statement since the DEA and IRS took action against him here.]

    Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, was the man who poured $1.5 million of his own money into the Prop 19 effort in 2010 to legalize marijuana in California.  That effort garnered the greatest-ever support for statewide marijuana legalization at 46.5%.

    Wall Street bankers looted and wrecked the economy? Eh, whaddaya gonna do? People are learning the truth about marijuana and its prohibition in there? Better send in federal agents right away! (Photo: Oaksterdam)

    Oaksterdam was founded in November of 2007 to provide training for the caregivers and collectives providing cannabis medicine to California’s medical marijuana patients.  But rather than just establish a “grow school”, Richard Lee also seeded the curriculum with classes covering the entire cannabis industry, including how to address the political and legal impediments that prohibition of cannabis for healthy people imposes on getting medicine to sick people.

    The recent “crackdown” by the four US Attorneys in California, which has included threatening letters to landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries as well as outright raids of longstanding, community-approved outlets like Berkeley Patients Group, has been devastating to Oaksterdam’s enrollment.

    There is now no doubt in my mind that this is a full-court press by the Obama Administration to squelch the voices of legalization, retard the propagation of truth about marijuana, and stall our growing political momentum long enough for the campaign donors in Big Pharma to get cannabinoid pharmaceuticals through the FDA approval process.

    Colorado and Washington – 2012 is THE year.  Failure to pass legalization this year gives the government four more years before they have to worry about serious attempts at legalization.  By then, a few more states will have passed medical marijuana laws without home grow.  By 2016, Sativex and other cannabinoid pharmaceuticals are brought to market.  Those states without home grow will then begin switching their state-run dispensary patients to Sativex.  States with home grow will be under great pressure to do the same.

    [NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano adds: I have tremendous personal respect for Richard Lee, having advocated along side with him in support of Prop. 19 — the statewide initiative he boldly and generously spearheaded in 2010 — and having lectured at Oaksterdam University, the groundbreaking educational facility he founded. On more than one occasion I ended my lectures at O.U. by highlighting the difference between changing public opinion and changing culture. Richard’s activism — opening the nation’s first brick-and-mortar cannabis ‘college,’ bankrolling Proposition 19 which nearly succeeded in legalizing the adult use of marijuana in California, and revitalizing downtown Oakland — fell into the latter category. He was changing the culture. And that is why the federal government and the Obama/Holder administration is trying to silence him today.]


    113 responses to “Federal agents with DEA, IRS, raid marijuana trade school Oaksterdam University”

    1. Rolland Miller says:

      Police State mentality; shame shame

    2. David762 says:

      I forgot to include a very important codicil to my earlier remarks regarding voting. If you can legally vote, Then Vote!

      Be advised:
      The meme of “Not Voting” as a means of shunning the entire USA political process as a means of expressing your disapproval is a false paradigm that the Powers That Be relish. “Not Voting” whatsoever provides ample proof (their interpretation) that you are furnishing your silent tacit Approval for the Status Quo.

      I recommend making use of Absentee Ballots as a means of documenting your vote — something that “our” nearly ubiquitous electronic voting machines cannot do. Think about it. The USA Congress voted to spend $8+ Billion USD on easily hackable entirely non-recount capable electronic voting machines in 2002, and disbursed all those funds Before there were any security & testing parameters established.
      I am cynical enough to conclude that accurate voting tabulation and recount capability were purposefully never factors involved in Congress’ Orwellian named “Help America Vote (Our Way) Act of 2002”. It was more like an Incumbent Job Protection Program, a vital resource to greedy authoritarian politicians who have deliberately turned this country into a Police State on the very brink of martial law, which is where we are today.

    3. Jeff Edwards says:

      Well folks here your chance to vote for Ron Paul. he is the only person running for president that i think we should vote for! I am a graduate of Oaksterdam and i am disabled from an accident which messed me up for life, and not for medical marijauna i would have committed suicide! i am sick of the government telling me what i can and cannot do. I live on a measly 1,000.00 dollars a month and if not 4 me being a veteran i would be homeless. vote for Obama or Ramney and see what else happens to this country. why cant we be free? I dont feel free. when will this all end?

    4. I find it interesting that nobody seems to see this but me – but perhaps that is because the military blessed me with a documented IQ score of 178 – who cares.

      The point is – anything that grows on this planet – is given to us by the Lord. We have stood at a stand still for 40 years now – and this year it is going to change.

      In revelations… He came in a cloud of smoke – funny isn’t it? And those who believed went “up” in a “vapor”? 40 is the magic number in the bible – and that number is all over this. Even the Shafer report calculates the leathal dosage at 40×40… 1600 lbs (eaten) for a 200 lbs adult. Seriously – can you eat 8x your body weight in anything?

      We are staring at end times – and though we all know… those who wish to admit it – that this plant is a VERY GOOD resource for everything from diesel fuel, to paper products, to biodegradable plastics, to a medicine that addresses just about every ailment known to man…

      Folks – this is going to hurt our economy in a very bad way… because instead of embracing it and growing with it over time – those with selfish personal interests demonized one of God’s greatest gifts. Christianity teaches us that Bad can be used for Good, in that; the things that I suffer through and am able to overcome via God’s grace become a foundation to help others with the same problems. Well, Good can also be used for Bad – and it’s all the people that skirted the laws because they were too lazy to put down their bongs… get off their asses and vote… that we have the current situation that we have now.

      Well, guess what – there are some diseases that are actually the cure for their own ailments. I’ll give you an example of one that I created back in 1999 – please give me credit where it is due and so I tell you…

      The Cure for Procrastination:
      Don’t procrastinate today – put it off until tomorrow.

      See how that worked?

      Well, we’ve got the same situation here – we have the disease of ‘intolerance’. Intolerance to something that was a gift from God – the current situation exasperated by the fact that we “sat on our lazy asses” as the world contined to turn.

      Perhaps instead of a revolution – we could do as Egypt did and do nothing… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – until this helpful – not harmful; plant is freed.


    5. C’mon moderator… let’s start our own anti-war…

    6. […] one day, but I knew it was only a matter of time before they got shut down too. Federal agents with DEA, IRS, raid marijuana trade school Oaksterdam University […]

    7. Cameron says:

      Check this out. The government can’t follow its own laws.


    8. Ed says:

      Obama’s way to say ” April fool’s “

    9. jason campbell says:

      absurd and ignorant.

    10. Anonymous says:

      I guess we’ll just have to role up our sleeves and beg harder.

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