Feds shut down California’s only marijuana university
In a joint operation between the IRS and the DEA, California’s only cannabis school, Oaksterdam University, was raided and shut down by federal agents Monday.
“It’s an ongoing investigation and everything is under seal, so we’re not able to comment,” an IRS agent told the LA Times. East Bay Express also reports that university head Richard Lee’s home was also raided simultaneously. The agents allegedly served the school with search warrants.
LA Times describes Oaksterdam as “a plant nursery and a dispensary,” and the first cannabis industry training school in the country.
The raid is the latest in what seems to be increasingly mixed signals from the Obama administration on marijuana policy. Last year when the state of Arizona voted to legalize medical marijuana, governor Jan Brewer tried to prevent state employees from carrying out orders to set up dispensaries, claiming this would make them vulnerable to prosecution by the federal government. The Obama administration asked to have Brewer’s case thrown out, saying it had no plans to send federal agents to interfere with states’ medical marijuana laws even though its official stance is that pot is federally illegal. Brewer “can point to no threat of enforcement against the State’s employees,” they said.
A year later, federal agents from the IRS and DEA are raiding California’s pot school. And the LA Times reports “The raid comes as federal officials are stepping up a crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries and the landlords who provide them space in which to operate.”
Ironically, the marijuana supply superstore WeGrow (the self-described “Walmart of weed”), is scheduled to open its first Washington, DC location on Friday. DC recently passed a law to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the fight between federal and local laws right to the federal government’s front doorstep.
With fully 70% of Americans now supporting legal medical marijuana in a poll by Gallup, it doesn’t look like the Obama administration is anywhere near loosening its draconian approach to cracking down on weed.