Steve DeAngelo is best known as a lifelong cannabis activist and the founder of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center—California’s largest and, by many accounts, most respected pot dispensary. In 2012, US Attorney Melinda Haag initiated civil forfeiture proceedings against Harborside, which does $25 million a year in sales, on the grounds that it had grown too big. If the case goes to trial, DeAngelo has vowed to demand a courtroom large enough for “every single one of the 220,000 patients who depend on us for health care.” While maintaining an activist approach, DeAngelo has also become a leading pot entrepreneur as president of the Arcview Group investor network. His new book, the Cannabis Manifesto, will be published in September.
Mother Jones spoke with DeAngelo last week about his time as a teenage runaway, his experiences in the Yippies, and his predictions for the future of pot.
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