The DEA and Oakland police tag-teamed a marijuana grow operation overnight, deploying flash-bang grenades, arresting 11 people, confiscating two pit bulls, over 1000 plants, and several weapons. Police allege the warehouse grow was also a distribution center, and was not related to medical marijuana.
This comes on the heels of the recent raids on Oaksterdam University, and several other businesses owned by legendary cannabis activist Richard Lee. Oaksterdam U had been a source of great pride for the medical marijuana community, as a symbol of the movement’s genuine purpose of advocacy through education. Adding to the confusion and hypocrisy is the recent approval by the City of Oakland of four additional large-scale cultivation centers in the city.
Over 30 officers participated in the raid--Oakland police were on point, with the DEA holding their leashes as usual. The Oaksterdam raids prompted tremendous public outcry including demonstrations, and statements by local leaders criticizing federal interference with medical marijuana. Authorities assert last nights raids were unrelated to medical marijuana, but that will not likely diminish the anxiety felt by the medical marijuana community in Oakland in the face of continued attacks on cannabis.
According to KTVU, Oakland police remained on the scene early Thursday morning. It is unclear if more arrests are yet to come, or if this is part a larger plan to dismantle the Oakland cannabis economy. Either way, the marijuana community will not take this lightly in Oakland.
Check back for further updates on this story as it unfolds.