Press Conference Alert:
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 11:30 AM PST, Steps of Old City Hall: 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley; with Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmember Darryl Moore, involved attorneys and BPG dispensary executives.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — NOVEMBER 1, 2016
Federal Court Win for Marijuana Dispensary Propels Industry Into Legalization Vote
BERKELEY, CA — One week before California voters decide on Proposition 64, a ballot initiative for full legalization, the federal government has dismissed an onerous civil asset forfeiture case that sought to shutter Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), the longest continuously operating medical cannabis dispensary in the country.
The filing by the Northern District of California U.S. Attorney on October 31, 2016, is an important signal that the regulated cannabis industry, set for exponential growth, will not encounter the same type of federal interference that BPG has endured.
The legal summary below is timeline of events leading up to the dismissal of United States’ federal asset forfeiture case against Berkeley Patients Group and its landlord.
- Berkeley Patients Group opened on October 31, 1999, and immediately operated in harmony with local government and its neighbors.
- On December 7, 2007, then-Special Agent in Charge Javier Pena drafted a series of letters to landlords renting property to medical marijuana dispensaries around California, reminding them that marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (Title 21 US Code) and advising them of the Federal government’s right and intent to prosecute. BPG and its landlord refused to be bullied by the tactic and remained open without incident.
We put together this breakdown of Prop. 64 to address questions and concerns we’ve heard from our patients, friends and family about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
Why should we legalize now?
Today, we have a broken system that profits drug cartels, threatens the safety of children, harms our environment, and uses law enforcement resources on small, victimless crimes that disproportionally affect minorities.
As with all legislation, Prop. 64 is a work-in-progress and will need to be improved upon as we navigate and learn from this new regulation together. Prop. 215 is STILL being improved upon today, 20 years later.
While it may not be perfect, AUMA creates a safe, legal and regulated system that ends the failed war on marijuana. This initiative protects our patients, children, consumers, small business owners, workers and environment.
BPG supports Prop. 64 because it: