Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Statement from Richard Lee on Oaksterdam Raid, Plus Videos, Protest, and Reactions

By David Downs
Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

This just came over from Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee, who was the subject of a massive federal raid in Oakland Monday:

"On Monday, April 2, my school - Oaksterdam University in Oakland - was raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals. Oaksterdam provides training to the medical cannabis industry, and is fully compliant with state and local law.

President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again - and the consequences have been devastating.

This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I've been an activist far too long to become intimidated - and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win.

With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day?

Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!

Thanks for your support, Richard Lee"

A link to a Change.org petition is provided.

About a hundred protesters chant DEA, Go Away at the Federal Building in San Francisco Tuesday
  • David Downs
  • About a hundred protesters chant "DEA, Go Away" at the Federal Building in San Francisco Tuesday

Elsewhere, a couple hundred protesters amassed at San Francisco City Hall Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. They then marched a couple blocks to the office of the U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. Haag was behind Monday's raid, according to an IRS spokesperson.

The rally was likely the biggest showing of support for medical marijuana in the Bay Area since the start of the six-month crackdown. Several San Francisco supervisors spoke, along with representatives from Senator Mark Leno and Representative Tom Ammiano's office, as well as the San Francisco District Attorney.

Lee was in attendance, but did not speak. Classes at the school are scheduled to resume Wednesday, SFWeekly's Chris Roberts reports. Lee was not arrested Monday and criminal charges against him have not been confirmed. Spokespeople for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service offered no comment and said Lee's search warrant was under seal.

Lots of video of the raid and protest is available. Watch as an activist attempts to block the exit of a D.E.A. vehicle containing items seized during the raid.

Also here's members of an Oakland-based D.E.A. unit breaking out a window at Coffeeshop Blue Sky. We like the part where the crowd goes, "Come out with your hands up, we have you surrounded."

Also, here's 90 minutes of live raid footage from Oaktown Pirate.

And Chip Johnson with the San Francisco Chronicle tees off on the D.E.A, "Is this some poor, misguided attempt at federal humor? Lee is about as menacing as a litter of kittens."

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