After Federal Raids, Founder of Oaksterdam Vows It Will Stay Open
Yesterday, Richard Lee, the Founder of Oaksterdam University announced to the Los Angeles Times that he “plans to give up ownership of his Oakland-based marijuana businesses after a federal raid this week seized many of their assets, including plants, bank accounts, records and computers.” Lee said on Thursday:
I’ve been doing this for a long time. Over 20 years.... I kind of feel like I’ve done my time. It’s time for others to take over.
In spite of the raids and the risk of facing serious federal drug charges, Lee said that Oaksterdam University and his dispensary will remain open. The marijuana training school will be handed over to new operators, but his marijuana nursery will have to close due to federal confiscation of his mother plants.
Lee says he will remain a medical marijuana advocate and continue fighting for its legalization, but the fight is one he cannot win alone. Lee told the Los Angeles Times that he “never wanted to be the quote unquote leader of the legalization movement,” but rather one “small solider in a big war.” In 2010, He spent more than $1.5 million supporting Proposition 19.