Richard Lee, who founded and runs a school--Oaksterdam--to train people in the marijuana industry, saw his university and private residence raided yesterday after D.E.A. agents served him a search warrant.
The agents took stacks of paperwork and files along with several bags of marijuana plants, but did not give a reason as to why they had obtained a search warrant. Supporters of Lee and his work say it's more than likely a political move to keep him from moving any further with his plan to legalize pot, which he bankrolled in 2010 with Prop 19 and which saw a record amount of voters in favor.
Police blocked the doors to the school yesterday as protesters looked on. Supporters of Lee's efforts to legalize pot were surprised at the seizure of Lee's effects yesterday, since Oakland has long been considered to be a safe haven for marijuana dispensaries. While the university trains students in areas such as horticulture and the business side of running a dispensary, marijuana is not dispensed there. However, one of the targets of the raid was Coffeeshop Blue Sky, a dispensary owned by Lee.
Oaksterdam is being raided at the moment. Please head down to 1600 Broadway in Downtown Oakland or RT. Thank you for your support!
Ryan Hooper, a former student of Oaksterdam, said, ""This is not in the best interest of the city. If they close the dispensaries, all of this stuff is going to go back underground."