Thursday, June 17, 2004
Oakland pulls the plug on "Oaksterdam"

The city of Oakland apparently doesn't know a good thing when it sees it as city officials decided last week not to issue permits to several "compassion clubs." Only three of the dozen clubs that offered a safe source for medical marijuana patients will be licensed to operate.

Granted, some of the clubs were also selling to recreational users who did not possess patient ID cards but there is no report that even these clubs or their patrons created trouble for law enforcement. It appears the city, although legitimately concerned about regulating the market, is mostly concerned about appearances.

Meanwhile certified patients are suddenly left without a safe source for their medicine.

"All that you see around us will be gone,'' Jeff Jones, executive director of Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, said Monday. "They're shutting almost everyone down, and I don't think that's good for the patients. I'm glad the city is involved in regulation, but it's also driving away businesses that could be paying revenue" to the city.

Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, whose district includes Oaksterdam, vows to work on getting more permits issued. One would think the council would appreciate the clubs' role in revitalizing an formerly fading downtown and consider well their actions before forcing thriving businesses to close.


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