Oakland resident Sableu Cabildo (middle) threw a hair shaving party when she started losing her hair to radiation treatment for brain cancer. She is also a medical marijuana patient. Photo courtesy of Sableu Cabildo.

Oakland resident Sableu Cabildo was diagnosed at the end of 2011 with a kind of brain cancer known as an astrocytoma. It originated on the right side of her thalamus, the lobed mass under the cerebral cortex that acts like the brain’s switchboard, regulating sensory perception and motor functions. Because of the cancer, Cabildo has been steadily losing her short-term memory and her balance. She stutters sometimes, and to be on the safe side, doesn’t drive at night anymore.

To alleviate some of the symptoms of her cancer and the harsher side affects of her medications, Cabildo, 34, has a medical marijuana prescription. It’s helped to calm her mood swings and improve her diminished appetite. It also dulls the pain from the migraine headaches caused by her disease. It lets her sleep at night.

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Federal agents surround Oaksterdam during the raid on April 2, 2012. Photo by Ryan Phillips.

One year ago, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, a move that sent ripples throughout Oakland’s well-established cannabis industry and raised questions about the complex and often conflicting web of state and federal regulations surrounding medical marijuana use and patient rights. In this four-part series, Oakland North will examine what’s changed since last year’s raid, who was affected the most, and what may lie in store for medical marijuana use here in Oakland.

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