Oaksterdam University, the Oakland, California school also known as the “Princeton of Pot” and the “Harvard of Hemp,” was raided by federal agents Monday.
The very obviously-named Oaksterdam was founded by Richard Lee, California’s most prominent advocate for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, in order to train students in the marijuana industry.
The U.S. government is currently trying to put medical marijuana businesses on lock-down if it is believed they are operating for profit.
“This is clearly an attack on regulation,” Oaksterdam University Chancellor Dale Sky Jones said Monday. “They just went after a school that tries to teach people how to do things legally.”
Jones went on to say that without regulation, “what’s going to change is who is selling it, the good guys or the bad guys.”
The raids on Oaksterdam University were carried out under a federal search warrant sealed by Judge Jocelyn Barnes, special agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco.
The DEA agents were joined by personnel from the IRS and U.S. Marshals Service. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the armed agents came with a battering ram, sledgehammer, power saws and a locksmith. They left Oaksterdam carrying file boxes, a safe, and black trash bags.
Although federal agents could not give a reason for their raid on Oaksterdam, other than that they were carrying out a search warrant, supporters of Lee said they believe he was targeted specifically because of his high profile in California’s marijuana industry.
In addition to Oaksterdam, authorities raided Lee’s home, a medical cannabis dispensary called Coffeeshop Blue Sky, and two other properties rented by Lee.
Around the same time that federal authorities were raiding the “Princeton of Pot,” a gunman opened fire across town at an East Oakland Christian college, Oikos University. One Goh, a 43-year-old former student of Oikos University, told police Monday that he was upset at Oikos for dismissing him.
Seven victims were killed execution-style, according to the Oakland PD.
Today Oakland residents are reacting to the unbalanced “justice” that occurred in their community Monday.
Chip Johnson, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote Tuesday, “It would be in the best interests of everyone if law enforcement efforts in Oakland focused on taking down the real bad guys—the ones shooting people,” and, “It is counterintuitive to use three federal law enfocement agencies to close a marijuana school and dispensary while ignoring illegal street drug operations in Oakland that continue to thrive, causing more violence.”
Two protestors are known to have been arrested during the Oaksterdam raid, and Lee and four of his employees were temporarily detained during.
Oaksterdam students and faculty are concerned that if the dispensaries and school are closed, marijuana sales will go back underground.