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Bay Area medical pot prosecutor Melinda Haag steps down

By Oscar Pascual |

Federal prosecutor Melinda Haag ended her reign as Northern California’s most notorious Drug Warrior by announcing her resignation Wednesday.

Haag, 53, announced her plans to step down as of Sept. 1, reports the Contra Costa Times.

“The reality is, at some point, the job ends, and I feel it’s the right time,” Haag said to the Times. “The time to step down is when the end is in sight and things are going well. We’re in that window of time.”

Haag was known for notable cases that charged former Senator Leland Yee with racketeering and former baseball player Barry Bonds for perjury. However, she will be best remembered for wasting massive amounts of federal resources on state-approved lawful marijuana dispensaries, such as the Berkeley Patient’s Group and Oakland’s Harborside Health Center.

The prosecutor’s habitual abuse of federal funds to attack state-approved dispensaries was enough to draw the ire of California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who said Haag was “breaking the law” in her attempts to seize dispensaries like Harborside.

“In 2012, US Attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag initiated a civil forfeiture action to shutter the doors of Harborside Health Center. At the time I vowed that Harborside would never abandon our patients, and we have been battling Ms. Haag in federal court ever since,” said Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and executive director of Harborside Health Center, in a statement. “I always believed Harborside would outlast Ms.Haag, so hearing that she is stepping down gives us both great relief and great satisfaction.”

Although Haag’s intentions to shut down America’s largest dispensary never came to fruition, she seems satisfied nonetheless.

“I hope I had the effect of enhancing the reputation of the office,” Haag said. “I feel we’ve accomplished most of our goals.”

Haag’s resignation is something DeAngelo can now hang his hat on.

“The one goal she most assuredly has not accomplished is closing down Harborside Health Center,” DeAngelo stated. “We hope her successor will have a more finely tuned understanding of compassion and justice than Ms. Haag has displayed, and allow Harborside to focus on serving our patients instead of battling a court case that should never have been started.”

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