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Harborside Health Center Scores a Win!!Eric Salerno Salem-News.com
In this writer's humble opinion it's about time we had a dispensary fight for our rights to be a integral contributing part of society the way Harborside, its directors, and staffs have done.
(OAKLAND) - Since 1996 many entrepreneurs have ventured into the medical marijuana industry here in California. Most have run their course and some are still around serving the patients in their areas. To date none have achieved the notoriety or reached the masses like Harborside Health Center. This new breed of dispensary has various locations throughout the Bay Area.
It's flagship is located in Oakland California and its Co-founder and Executive Director, Steve DeAngelo has been featured on the Discovery Channels "Weed Wars" documentary program. This past week a major win was scored on the playing field of MMJ Prop.215 and the rights of States and the Localities therein to choose their own path.
In July of 2012 notices were taped to the Harborside door by Federal agencies threatening seizure of property that it operated on.
In reply that October the City of Oakland filed suit against the federal government to allow Harborside to continue serving to its 100,000 ill patients. Oakland officials believed that a shutdown of Harborside would lead to a "health crisis." Then this past February Magistrate Maria-Elena James, said the city had no right to intervene in a federal prosecutor's civil-forfeiture action against the Harborside Health Center.
The city appealed that ruling, and this past week Magistrate Maria-Elena James's new order allows the dispensary to continue to operate to individuals carrying a doctor's recommendation while the appeal is under review. James called the question of Oakland's legal standing in the case "a matter of significant public interest."
For many people the dispensaries are nothing more than pot shops where people who want to get high, go to get their fix. After a careful review of Harborside Health Care, it's very clear that this is not the case. With a motto of "Out of the Shadows, Into the light" it's locations offer a vast number services and programs to ease pains of the people whom they serve daily.
Services like holistic healing, chiropractic, naturopathy, hypnotherapy, yoga, reiki, and traditional Chinese medicine are available. Programs include Senior Outreach,Care Package Program, Senior and Veteran Discounts, Substance Misuse Support Program, Cannabis Activism, Grow Your Own Medicine.
The first week they opened in their Oakland location in October of 2006, the patient reviews were outstanding with online reviews saying "The staff here are excellent, They are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and clearly qualified for their respective positions." Another reviewing patient said "This club is a keeper, folks... the space is clean & bright, with tons of natural light coming in from the windows (yes, you can see in from outside). and the staff is as friendly & professional as they come!"
In this writer's humble opinion it's about time we had a dispensary go to the mat and fight for our rights to be a integral contributing part of society the way Harborside, its directors, and staffs have done. If every dispensary in this great state fought back and never gave up we would have a much different playing field and scoreboard. The actions that this dispensary has taken to stand up, fight, and never back down for the sake of others has set the highest standard of what can be achieved in the face of adversity and of a government hell bent on dismembering it.
My hat's off to Harborside, keep up the great work!!
Eric Salerno is a Salem-News.com writer from Butte County, California. His background is with State and Federal Agencies assisting in recovery efforts in disaster stricken states.
In 2008 he began advocating for medical marijuana in his home state. This journey began after the supervisors in his district of Butte County enacted a moratorium on legal Prop. 215 patients rights to access and grow their own medicine. He was one of only 10 people to show up at the meeting and voice his concerns with their actions.
That year a coalition of mores than 300 residents was formed and a Vote NO on measure A campaign began. These residents of Butte County united to stop the interference of the county.
This campaign was successful with a large voter drive initiative and media campaign securing 55% of the voters saying NO on measure A.
Today Eric works endlessly from Southern California to Northern California advising and implementing political tactics, to ensure every Californian has the right to access legal safe medicine under the law.
You can write to Eric at this address: Ericsalerno@sbcglobal.net
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