Feds Raid Cali's "Cannabis College"
Federal agents swoop on Richard Lee's Oaksterdam University as part of an ongoing legal battle with the state of California over medical pot.
California's first training school for budding pot workers—Oaksterdam University—was raided this morning as part of an ongoing federal crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries and the landlords who house them. An IRS spokeswoman confirms that the raid was part of a joint investigation with the DEA, declining further comment. Despite the state of California legalizing marijuana in 1996, weed-growing dispensaries are still considered a violation of federal law, with feds targeting dispensaries that are too large, or too close to schools. Oaksterdam University founder and owner Richard Lee is a leading figure in California's medical marijuana movement and the chief promoter of a recent failed ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state. Lee is unlikely to be cowed by the latest raid. He told The Fix back in November, "Law enforcement is futile...like water running downhill... They may close some places and hurt some people—in the long run it won't change much." Despite federal opposition, city officials in Oakland—known as "Oaksterdam" for its prominence in the MMJ movement—continue to express support for well-regulated dispensaries, and just recently approved four new facilities, even as prosecutors have pressured hundreds of Californian dispensaries to close.