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Oakland Sues Feds To Keep Pot Dispensary Open

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A vial of medical marijuana

Marijuana is poured from a jar at at medical marijuana dispensary. (David McNew/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the world’s largest has gained a powerful ally in its fight to stop the federal government from shutting it down: the city government.

The city of Oakland filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday that seeks to prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from using its property seizure powers to get Harborside Health Center evicted.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag initiated a forfeiture proceeding in July on the property Harborside has rented in downtown Oakland since 2006, as well as its sister shop in San Jose.

City Attorney Barbara Parker said the threat needlessly interferes with the system Oakland has established for licensing and collecting taxes from pot shops.

Haag and California’s three other federal prosecutors have brought similar actions against landlords throughout the state that lease space to dispensaries.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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