Marijuana Activists Plan Protest of Obama's Oakland Visit

July 21, 2012

NBC News, Chris Roberts

Oakland plans to occupy President Barack Obama's time on Monday with a fundraiser at the Fox Theater -- and a protest is packaged along with it.

The president is scheduled to speak at a "reception" after 4 p.m. on Monday at the downtown art-deco theater. Protesters angry over the president's moves on medical marijuana will assemble at noon.

Activists from Americans for Safe Access and California NORML are angry over the Justice Department's moves to shut down state-legal dispensaries, including Harborside Health Center in Oakland, according to SF Weekly.

Harborside received a forfeiture notice from US Attorney Melinda Haag earlier this month, the newspaper reported. Oakland activists are still reeling from an April raid of Oaksterdam University, the downtown Oakland "cannabis college." Federal agents raided the business and the home of Richard Lee, who is one of the leaders in the marijuana legalization movement.

Obama seemed to promise that he'd let states with medical marijuana laws condcut their own affairs without interference from federal drug agents. Many cannabis users feel he broke that promise.

The protesting begins at noon in downtown Oakland.

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