Tensions rise as two enormous dispensaries are targeted by Feds

Two of the most popular medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation are being shut down by the federal government.

The two dispensaries, located in Oakland and San Jose, received Complaints for Forfeiture taped to their front doors for allegedly operating in violation of federal law.

And medical marijuana advocates are not taking the move lightly, according to the L.A. Times.

They’re saying the complaint hurts legitimate patients who need the marijuana for medical purposes.

They also said it violates promises to only target dispensaries near schools and parks.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee last month federal agents target large-scale dispensaries that are “taking advantage” of state laws, going beyond what is allowed.

U.S. attorney for Northern California, Melinda Haag said “superstores such as Harborside” are an example of this, with over 108,0000 customers.  She says boosted clientele increase the likelihood that marijuana would be given to clients who do not need it for medical reasons.

But Harborside is run by a well known advocator for dispensary rights, who isn’t afraid of a fight.

Before California’s U.S. attorneys began a crackdown on dispensaries in October, Harborside gained some fame on the Discovery Channel reality show Weed Wars in 2006.

During the show, Harborside co-founder Steve DeAngelo spoke out against federal intervention.  He said he wanted to become a movement in advocating for better state regulations.

“People are not going to stop using cannabis, they’re just going to buy it in the illegal marketplace … on the streets,” he said to the L.A. Times.  “Why are federal prosecutors using their discretion to do something so profoundly destructive?”

DeAngelo said he would resist any effort by his landlords to evict the dispensaries, yhough the notice on his door  targets property owners, not the tenants.

California courts are currently reviewing how medical marijuana should be distributed

In the mean time DeAngelo says Harborside is being run professionally and should not be punished simply for having a larger clientel.

“If Harborside is not in compliance with state law, no one is,” he said.