On July 10, 2012, federal agents taped a notice of property forfeiture to the doors of Harborside Health Center, a medical cannabis dispensary located in Oakland and San Jose, Calif. If successful, this federal action would shut down Harborside, forcing thousands of patients back into the underground, illegal market. The closure of Harborside would have an especially destructive effect on California’s most medically challenged patients, who are less able to negotiate the dangers of the illegal marketplace, and cannot risk using untested cannabis from unregulated sources.
The patients featured in this video volunteered their stories. They are afraid that if Harborside closes, they will have no reliable, safe source for the medicine they depend on.
NORML estimates that there are now over 1.1 million medical cannabis patients in the state of California alone. Patients use medical cannabis to alleviate suffering from a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, cancer, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and HIV-AIDS.
Harborside Health Center was founded in 2006 to ensure these medical cannabis patients receive medicine that is safe and effective, and is provided in full compliance with state law. Since then Harborside has become known nationwide as a model medical cannabis dispensary that has set the standard for best practices in legal compliance and responsible operation.