Perhaps Oaksterdam University doesn’t say too much for those of you not interested in working in the medical cannabis industry. But for those that supported the legalization of cannabis selling and consumption on medical grounds, Oaksterdam University is an internationally famed school. Still for the authorities Oaksterdam University is simply branded as the marijuana college. This Monday, the feds raided Oaksterdam.
This Monday, U.S. marshals, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service took Oaksterdam University by surprise in a raid aimed likely at potential hidden marijuana sales revenues. Although parts involved declined to comment on the reason, over the years there’s been an increasing conflict between authorities and the college over marijuana sales.
The marijuana college’s website read: “Agents with the U.S. Marshal Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division are searching the university, owned by Richard Lee, at the corner of 16th Street and Broadway”.
Dale Sky Jones is Oaksterdam’s executive chancellor and ruled the raid to be “an attack on regulation”. As agents finished the raid they left the properties with sacks full of marijuana plants, file boxes, trash bags and even a safe. The founder of the school Richard Lee and four other employees are under temporary detention.
Oaksterdam said the raid was political, an attempt to make sure Richard Lee never gets the same support he had in 2010 when he bankrolled Proposition 19 aimed to legalize marijuana consumption for adults without medical use.
Lee’s supporter and co founder of Harborside Stephen DeAngelo also argued that the government is trying to tax them “out of existence”. He mentioned Harborside is in litigation with the IRS over a supplement tax worth $2.5 million for 2007 and 2008. Last year alone, said DeAngelo, over $3 million went to the government in taxes.
Last year, a memo sent to U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department was intensifying a controversial conflict. The memo read that large marijuana producers, sellers and distributors are liable to prosecution even in the states that have laws to allow medical marijuana consumption.
California for instance is the first state that has ever ruled the medical marijuana consumption to be legal. It was a step that has generated a business worth as much as $1.3 billion a year, from which the government got its cut in sales tax of $105 million.