California pot school founder calling it quits

(KGO)
April 6, 2012 6:08:45 PM PDT
One of the founding fathers of the Bay Area's medical marijuana movement is quitting. He says he's worried about prosecution if he continues to run Oaksterdam University.

Last Monday, federal DEA agents raided Oaksterdam University taking marijuana plants, computers, and records. Now, Richard Lee, the man who founded the place, is leaving. "I've been doing this over 20 years, so I think I've done my duty. I think I've done my time on the front lines and others can take over," he said. Even today, he cannot roll through the remnants of his university without a heavy heart. It's just a shell now containing empty chairs, empty pots, and empty coffers after last Monday's federal raid.

He says the school is bankrupt. If there are to be future students there to learn the business of growing medical cannabis, it will not happen under his ownership, not that he is giving up the fight to legalize marijuana. "Well, I'm not leaving the fight. I'm going to still be campaigning more than ever for legislation, maybe going to Washington and Colorado that both have legalization on the ballot this year," he said.

The DEA has not yet said what it was looking for when they served those search warrants. Lee says he doesn't know either, at least not specifically. He says that in general, it was to make his life difficult.


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