by David Downs
It's pretty clear the Oaksterdam raid was federal payback. Payback for opening the cannabis college. Payback for running Prop 19. Payback for being unashamed.
How else should we interpret the news that one year after sixty federal agents raided the downtown Oakland businesses, not a single charge has been filed against Oaksterdam operator Richard Lee? The federal message to pot's thought leaders seems clear: "Shut your mouth. We can end you at will."
Oakland North's Madeleine Thomas does good work on the anniversary story April 2, detailing how Oaksterdam stayed afloat after the raid and persists to this day.
"As Oaksterdam’s new head, [Dale Sky] Jones was tasked with practically starting the university over from scratch; despite dropping enrollment and legal ambiguity, she said, they were determined to stay open as a school, if not a dispensary. Much of the school’s property had been confiscated, patients and students alike were shaken up, and nobody knew if or when the federal government would file charges against Oaksterdam’s operators. 'It’s been probably the most intense period of my life,' Jones said, speaking of the year since the raid."
"'The ship was just upside down. We had just been gutted,' Chancellor Jones tells Thomas. 'Getting the ship righted and realizing you have no tools, no rigging, most of your crew is lost at sea, there’s no actual guarantee you will even find dry land—you just keep swimming.'"