by David Downs
According to a release from Harborside Health Center this morning, the biggest pot club on the planet got a judge to quash its potential eviction by landlord Anna Chretien.
"The federal campaign to close Harborside Health Center and other state legal medical cannabis dispensaries was dealt a significant setback in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday, November 30th when Judge Evilio Grillo quashed an eviction proceeding initiated by the landlord of Harborside's landmark Oakland location. The Judge dismissed the action, which was undertaken in response to pressure placed on the landlord by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, on the grounds that California courts cannot evict state legal medical cannabis dispensaries simply because they are breaking federal cannabis laws."
California landlords cannot force a California court to 'indirectly' enforce federal drug laws, Judge Grillo decided, writing:
"This court sees no reason why a private actor should be able to do what a city cannot—i.e., rely on the idea that state law incorporates federal criminal law to compel a state court to enforce that federal law indirectly when it cannot do so directly."
Harborside has operated with a permit in Oakland for several years and told its landlord, Chretien, what it was doing. Chretien sued to evict the club after U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag initiated forfeiture actions against Chretien's building for violating federal drug law.
Oakland counter-sued the feds' forfeiture attempt and the case is ongoing, with the next court date set for Dec. 20.