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A Real “High”-Profile Case: Federal Gov. Vs Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

By// Brandon Byrd

The nation’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center, based in California’s Bay Area, becomes the first facility to sue federal prosecutors after attempts to shut down its Oakland and San Jose locations.

The suit filed against several federal and government officials contends that federal prosecutors missed a five-year statute of limitations to seize Harborside’s properties. It also argues that Oakland officials were misled with a “pattern of false promises” that the federal government would not go after dispensaries that were complying with state and local laws.

This case will force the federal courts to make a landmark decision is the long-time battle between state and national laws on the use and legalization of marijuana.  With states like Washington and Colorado already legalizing medical marijuana, the West Coast dispensary has gained backing from many citizens and lawmakers in its efforts to fight against the federal prosecution.

Reports from the dispensary projected over $22 million in sales and reported over $3 million paid back to the government for taxes. However, these numbers have not stopped the federal prosecutors from filing civil forfeiture action charges against Harborside’s two landlords.  Further details on the pending case are available from The Los Angeles Times.