A three-year legal push to shut down a longtime Berkeley medical marijuana dispensary has ended with a victory for a long-standing East Bay patients group.
"We fought the hard fight and came out on the other side better for it,” said Victor Pinho, communications director for the Berkeley Patients Group.
The dispensary opened in 1999 and claims to be the oldest continuously running dispensary in the country.
Three years ago, a U.S. Attorney for Northern California filed a property forfeiture lawsuit trying to shut down BPG. The suit stated marijuana was still illegal under federal law and claimed the dispensary was operating near a day care center. BPG moved down the street to stay open.
“We were operating with a lot of uncertainty,” Pinho said.
On Monday, federal prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
“This is a huge victory for sensibility, and it's a huge victory for the patients of this community,” Pinho said.
It comes just days before California could vote to legalize recreational marijuana by passing Proposition 64.
Though Pinho says it wouldn't affect them, he hopes it passes.
“Because it is good policy, and it keeps people out of jail for something that's a medicine,” he said.