By Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director, Harborside Health Center
On behalf of the entire Harborside family, I wish all of our patients, friends, supporters, advisors and helpers, a very Happy New Year. Thank you all for sticking with us through the difficult days of 2012. I'm very happy and pleased to report that the New Year brought us great news when Federal Judge Maria-Elena James ruled that Harborside can stay open and continue selling cannabis, unless and until the feds are able persuade a jury to convict us--which I think would be a very, very long time indeed. Like the next millennium.
The feds, of course, realize this, and that's why they've been doing all they can to deny us our day in court. Those plans ran into a massive monkey-wrench on January 7, when Judge James rejected motions from our Oakland and San Jose landlords to force us to immediately stop dispensing cannabis. Judge James's ruling sets the stage for a jury trial on the underlying civil forfeiture issues about a year from now. Until then, we shall continue to meet the commitment we made over six years ago: to provide our patients with the largest selection of the best cannabis we're able to find, in the safest and most beautiful environment we know how to create. And if that trial ever actually happens, we'll win it just like we've won every hearing up till now. We will never, ever abandon our patients--and we will never, ever stop fighting for justice.
Judge James's ruling reaffirms that a small group of deeply determined people, who have the truth on their side, who stand up for what they know is right and never ever quit, can be just as powerful as the most powerful government on Earth. In my close-to-40 years of activism, I cannot ever remember a federal judge making a ruling that allows cannabis sales to continue. It's one more sign that we've reached the tipping point for our movement and that we're winning new supporters every day, from some of the most unlikely places.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's your words, your good wishes, your poems and works of art, handshakes and hugs that give us the strength to confront the feds, to stand up for justice and patients' rights.
The Harborside family couldn't have made it through this year without the continued support and patronage of our patients. We sincerely thank each and every one of you who've offered your kind words and hugs, all of you who've sent us e-mails and tweets and letters, and everybody who expressed support, in all the many different ways our uniquely creative community is capable of. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's your words, your good wishes, your poems and works of art, handshakes and hugs that give us the strength to confront the feds, to stand up for justice and patients' rights. Every time you come to Harborside, every time you make a purchase, you help provide the resources we need to continue our defense.
Our struggle is not over, but it has entered a new phase. Now that Harborside is no longer in danger of closure, we'll be able to pay even more attention to our original mission: establishing the gold standard of best practices for dispensaries, and ensuring that our patients are always able to access the latest improvements and innovations in medical cannabis and patient care.
This coming year will bring our patients an expanded selection of super, high-quality, sun-grown cannabis; a new, redesigned website with additional information and exciting features; more free-sample days, book signings and seminars; an always changing and improving selection of cannabis technology; more opportunities to participate in scientific research, and an enhanced effort to provide our staff and patients with the most up-to-date research and information about cannabis.
Thanks again for your support. We appreciate every letter, every smile, every purchase. Happy New Year! May it bring health and freedom to us all!