Officials raid cannabis university

April 2, 2012 at 8:55 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif., April 2 (UPI) -- Federal agents say they've raided the campus of an Oakland, Calif., cannabis college providing training for the marijuana industry.

Agents with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals arrived at Oaksterdam University and three other medical marijuana sites Monday morning armed with several warrants, the Oakland Tribune reported.

Two of the sites belonged to the founder of the university, Richard Lee, and the executive chancellor of the medical marijuana university, Dale Sky Jones, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"This is a calculated attack across the state on everyone who is trying to bring the cannabis industry out of the darkness and into the light," Jones said. "They're going after industry leaders one at a time."

IRS spokeswoman Arlette Lee refused to provide details about the warrants or information concerning the raids even though the IRS and DEA are public agencies, the Tribune said.

Oaksterdam University was founded in 2007 to offer instruction for those intending to enter the cannabis industry.

A protest assembled on scene about the same time as a mass shooting near the Oakland airport, the Times said.

"While we have all of these federal agents here, trying to stop us from doing something we voted for, four or five people have died [or been wounded] because of the inability of these agents to get guns off the streets," said Steve DeAngelo, chief executive of Oakland's Harborside Health Center, which has been called the world's largest medical marijuana dispensary.

Oakland's four medical marijuana dispensaries bring in about $1.68 million a year in taxes and that figure stands to increase because March 14 the City Council voted to double the number of dispensaries to eight.

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