Oakland Cannabis Club Closes After Appeal Is Denied


Oakland’s Cannabis Buyers’ Club closed Monday after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the club’s request for an emergency stay of a lower court’s ruling that it was operating illegally.

The club was the largest marijuana club still functioning in California.

“All of us here know only too well the imminent harm and suffering that will come to the numerous patients that have received medicine from the Oakland CBC when we close our doors tonight,” club Director Jeff Jones said in a statement after the ruling was issued. Jones said he was voluntarily closing the club, which has 2,000 members, and would hand the keys over to federal marshals “until we are able to reopen with the support of the courts.”

The federal government and the state of California have waged a two-front legal war on the clubs since passage two years ago of Proposition 215 by California voters. That initiative said patients suffering from a variety of illnesses could--with a doctor’s recommendation--use marijuana to ease their pain.


But state courts have ruled that the law did not legalize marijuana clubs, and U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled in May that federal drug laws supersede state laws on controlled substances such as marijuana. He ordered six Northern California clubs to close. All did, except the Oakland club and a much smaller one in Marin County.

The Oakland club sought to stay open by asserting that marijuana is a medical necessity for some patients who use the drug to fight nausea and ease a variety of symptoms. But Breyer rejected both defenses.