Oakland Pot Permit Plan Facing Serious Trouble?

The  indoor pot warehouse grows (some proposed to be up to 7 acres) slated for Oakland face some rough ground before they get built. In what Dale Gieringer, head of Cal NORML, says is “More signs that Oakland’s pot permit plan is facing serious trouble” the Oakland city attorney, John Russo, refuses to sign the city ordinance that allows these permits. According to the SF Gate,

The four available permits, going for $211,000 apiece, may not be worth the paper they’re written on.

…The absence of Russo’s approval will  not stop the permits from being issued, but it does bring into question their legal standing.

“The issue of production of cannabis is a legal thicket, and everyone knows it,” Russo said.

He declined to comment further, but word is federal authorities recently called his office and made it clear that they don’t intend to look the other way to Oakland’s flaunting of federal prohibitions on growing and selling marijuana in bulk.

Former US attorney for Northern California Joe Russoniello said the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder have made it clear both publicly and in memos that they plan to bust large pot-growing operations like those being proposed in Oakland.

Would the city legally defend the permits after a federal bust?

“We haven’t discussed it, but I doubt we would,” City Council President Jane Brunner said.

Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, whose office has been contacted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration looking for information on the city’s legislation, said it’s “no big deal” that Russo plans
to step aside if DEA agents roll into town.

“If it happens, we have a normal procedure to use outside counsel,” Kaplan said.

 

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Thanks to Ellen Komp, Dept. Director of Cal NORML for the story

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