On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced she would be stepping down on September 1, according to SF Gate. Her retirement is a breath of fresh air for medical marijuana dispensaries in California since she will no longer be bothering them.
Haag, known for her cases against Barry Bonds and California Sen. Leland Yee, was often a problem for dispensaries since she has continuously tried to shut down multiple locations across the state since 2011.
“People are using the cover of medical marijuana to make extraordinary amounts of money,” she said in 2011. She, and her counterparts, also described dispensaries as criminal enterprises masquerading as suppliers of medicine.
However, she hasn’t specified her reasons for retiring nor lined up another job. She told the Contra Costa Times:
The reality is, at some point, the job ends, and I feel it’s the right time. The time to step down is when the end is in sight and things are going well. We’re in that window of time.
Multiple dispensaries in California have expressed how relieved they are that Haag is stepping down. Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and executive director of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Ca., expressed his satisfaction in a statement to Smell the Truth:
“In 2012, US attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag initiated a civil forfeiture action to shutter the doors of Harborside Health Center. At the time I vowed that Harborside would never abandon our patients, and we have been battling Ms. Haag in federal court ever since.”
I always believed Harborside would outlast Ms. Haag, so hearing that she is stepping down gives us both great relief and great satisfaction.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are letting out a sigh of relief for now, but let’s hope Haag’s successor is more open to medical marijuana than she was.
H/T SF Gate