Marijuana Over Murder: Oakland City Officials' Priorities Blasted

Oakland's city officials are being taken to task for their reaction to federal law enforcement shutting down a marijuana club.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images / Scott Olson

    When an as-yet unknown shooter opened fire outside a crowded Oakland movie theater July 8, wounding eight, Mayor Jean Quan said not a word.

    But when the federal government announced it was working to shut down Harborside Health Center, a large medical marijuana dispensary and the city's second-biggest taxpayer? The reaction was swift and solid -- and that's simply sordid, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson.
    Quan refused to take questions on the movie theater shooting in Jack London Square, Johnson reports. What's more, the city has done nothing and said nothing about a spate of violence plaguing the East Bay city, he wrote.
    "It's pretty hard to take seriously the mayor's commitment to reducing violent crime when she's ducking basic questions about crime in the city," Johnson posits.
    In 10 days, seven people have been killed and 17 more injured in Oakland shootings, Johnson reported. Yet no statements or other pronouncements about the violence have emerged from City Hall.
    "When the closure of a pot club gets an immediate response from City Hall, but a killing each day for a week doesn't, it casts serious doubts on the city's ability to get its priorities straight," Johnson wrote.