Yesterday was a smoking good day for Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and 7 other initial co-sponsors that introduced HR 6335 — California’s “Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act,” this attempt to halt the confiscation of property from landlords of MMJ state law-compliant industries. The introduction of HR 6335 hits the floor less than 30 days after U.S. A.G. Melinda Haag filed an asset forfeiture lawsuit against the property-owner of Steven DeAngelo’s “Harborside” medical marijuana collective. Harborside just happens to be in Lee’s district of Oakland. The recent DOJ action was fought by Rep. Lee and also sparked the ire of many local and state officials. Including the Oakland City Council members, the Oakland City Attorney, and the Board of Equalization, which have all bent over backwards to make sure that these business followed every rule.
For more than a year, the Justice Department has been threatening the landlords of state law-compliant medical marijuana dispensaries with asset forfeiture proceedings if they don’t promptly evict their tenants. More than 300 such letters have been sent to property owners across California as well as in Colorado and other medical marijuana states. Though the number of actual prosecutions is far fewer, the intimidation caused by the threats has resulted in the closure of more than 400 dispensaries in California.[source]