Feds Raid Oaksterdam University


The U.S. Marshall Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service conducted a raid this morning on Oaksterdam University, the Oakland-based technical school that trains future "potpreneurs." The San Francisco Chronicle has more

The university has been cordoned off by yellow caution tape.

Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman, said she could not say why the agents were there other than to confirm that they were serving a federal search warrant.

"Everything's under seal," Lee said, referring to the search warrant and documents relating to the investigation. "We're not able to comment as far as the nature of this ongoing investigation."

The federal agencies are conducting a joint investigation, she said.

The raid comes fewer than three weeks after Oakland city officials issued preliminary approvals for four new medical marijuana dispensaries, even as federal prosecutors exerted increased pressure on medical cannabis dispensaries, forcing hundreds to close.

Federal officials say they are concerned about dispensaries that are getting too big or too close to parks or schools. They have long asserted that federal law trumps the state's 1996 voter-approved law legalizing medical cannabis.

Reason.tv interviewed Oaksterdam's founders in 2010: 

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  1. They are campaigning to tax cannabis?

    Screw ’em.

    1. Perfect, enemy, good. There is no way in today’s political climate that it could be re-legalized without taxes.

      1. Someone needs to get it legalized some way, and I will continue to support the elimination of excise taxes, and have all goods and services taxed at the same rate.

      2. True enough. But they are specifically campaigning to “tax cannabis.”

    2. Obama’s war on education.

  2. Not that they deserved to be raided. But would it have killed them to have come up with a less cheesy name than Oaksterdam? Why not go all out and call it Tommy Chong College or the Bob Marley Institute of Herbal Studies?

    1. What kind of name do you expect from someone who trains “potpreneurs”?

      1. True. They really should have hired a better portmanteaurtist.

        “Sativapreneur”, for example, sounds a lot better, and that’s just off the top of my head.

        How about the “Chong-Marley Joint Institute for Business Studies”?

        1. Just go for the Chong Marley School of Business.

          “So your resume says you have an MBA from Chong Marley. Very impressive”.

          1. Shut up rectal.

            1. Do you really think Ms. Stack could be this coherent for this long? really?

      2. They should have called themselves a Cannabusiness School. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

  3. “The federal agencies are conducting a joint investigation, she said.”


    1. The drag net approach was ineffective.

    2. One agent described the founder of the University as a “bad doobie”.

      1. Todays raids were all about the DEA’s political revenge against Richard Lee, his beloved Oaksterdam University and other cannabusinesses he ownes. The feds are a day late and a dollar short. The have no clue that todays actions in Oaksterdam validates their political hyprocarcy’s. Scarey huh?

    3. They have a lot of evidence to hash through in the coming months.

  4. The federal agencies are conducting a joint investigation

    1. “The federal agencies are conducting a joint investigation, she said.”

      Would they have said the same thing if they had raided an x-rated movie distributor???

  5. Nice rip-off of the Harvard seal.

  6. The IRS interprets the law in a way that makes Oaksterdam a tax evader if it deducts any normal business expenses. Something for liberals to think about when anyone talks about the merits of raising taxes.

  7. Prop 19 probably would have passed if not for the mischaracterization and opposition by the medical pot industry. These organizations did everything they could to protect their perceived monopoly on the quasi legal marijuana market, expecting the Obama administration would continue to allow them to flourish and profit. They miscalculated… big time. Perhaps these crackdowns, and the reality that medical users and institutions are seriosly under attack, will push the extra 5% – 7% of the electorate needed for legalization in the right direction??? One can hope.

    1. The medical pot people are scumbags. They don’t care about justice or freedom. They just want a monopoly. Some day when I am declared God Empress, the pot growers up in NOCAL who campaigned against Prop 19 will be the last people in America ever to go to jail for growing pot.

      1. Some day when I am declared God Empress

        Ive got some spare sand trout lying about if you need them.

      2. Are you going to wear golden power armor when you make this declaration?

      3. I’m fresh out of sand trout, but I do have a one-eyed trouser trout.

        1. If you plan to go through the proper cleansing rituals and properly subjective yourself at my feet, we can talk.

          But if your trout doesn’t measure up, it will be off to the court eunuchs for you. So approach at your own risk.

          1. Talk? You want to talk?

            If I wanted to talk I’d hang out with my wife!

            I politely withdraw my offer.

            1. Probably for the best. You would have made a bad eunuch anyway.

      4. Even if I could get a prescription, I wouldn’t give any money to “pharmacies” because they take themselves too seriously.

        1. Only the premium places act so seriously. My old “Green Cross” was run by a bunch of old Armenians who sat around drinking scotch and smoking herb all day. There was no act to them, but damn were they convenient.

    2. Couldn’t agree more. I used to be in favor of the “baby step” of legalized medical weed. Used to. Then I saw the rent-seeking protectionist bullshit from the CA weed growers & sellers, and I realized the only way is full-on legalization.

      1. Yup. It is like gambling. I am not sure we were not better off with it being illegal and the mob running it than we are now with a few political cronies getting exclusive licenses to run casinos. At least when the mob ran it they didn’t use the police to enforce their monopoly.

        Same with pot. If legalization means giving a few scumbags a monopoly and everyone else still being a criminal, leave things as they are.

      2. The thing is, there are actual people who need medical marijuana. Writer Peter McWilliams might be alive today if he’d have access.

        1. If cannabis were fully legalized, both medical and recreational users would have access!

  8. Man, the Feds REALLY don’t want people to have the cancer cure, do they?

    THC, CBDs and CBNs FTW!!!!

  9. I think “potrepreneurs” flows a little bit nicer, dear Riggsy.

  10. Master Sativier.

  11. Federal officials say they are concerned about dispensaries that are getting too big or too close to parks or schools.

    I think federal agencies are getting too close to parks and schools, we should shut them down immediately.

    1. That’s a great quote, because obviously the city of Oakland feels differently.

  12. Free Salwa Ibrahim!
    I’d buy ANYTHING she has to sell …

  13. OK that makes a lot of sense dude.


  14. Black is beautiful

  15. Not surprised. Obama’s drug policy is not much different than Bush’s, or Clinton’s, or Bush 1’s, or Reagan’s, or any of the other generals in the war against personal liberty.

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