Friday, April 6, 2012

Oaksterdam University Raid Forces Richard Lee Out of Medical Marijuana Business — But He Remains Defiant

The federal government's war on medical marijuana and dispensaries claimed another victim. A paraplegic advocate of pot who grew cannabis, operated collectives and shared his knowledge with others — Oaksterdam University's Richard Lee.

In addition to Oaksterdam University, his collectives and growing operation, Lee was behind 2010's Proposition 19, an initiative that would have decriminalized pot.

When federal agents raided Lee's businesses and residences, plants, bank accounts, records and computers were seized, effectively halting the businesses' operations. Lee will not be able to cultivate new marijuana crops because the mother plants were taken. His collectives will be taken over by new owners. Oaksterdam University's doors will remain open, though classes will be scaled back.

 Lee noted to the Los Angeles Times that growing over 60,000 plants can bring the death penalty, though he was not growing anywhere near that amount.

 However, he remains defiant in the face of crackdown: "I believe that cannabis prohibition is unjust and counterproductive," he said. "What I've done is ethical, and I tried to use the resources that I had to do everything I could to change the laws."

Monday, April 2, 2012

BREAKING: Feds Raid Medical Marijuana Training Facility Oaksterdam University

Federal agents raided Oaksterdam University today, an institution that educated and trained individuals in the medical marijuana industry, the Los Angeles Times reports. The university is also on the forefront of legalization issues, with owner Richard Lee an outspoken advocate of making recreational pot available in California.

 In addition to Oaksterdam University, Lee also runs a dispensary and is a grower.

Despite the joint raid by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service, the city of Oakland is committed to making pot available to patients. Its city council approved four new dispensaries three weeks ago.

 The IRS and DEA declined to comment as to why they were raiding Oaksterdam University, commenting it was part of an ongoing investigation.