Nate Miley in his cannabis t-shirt.

ALAMEDA COUNTY BOS | Either Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley is a visionary when it comes to medical cannabis or a political pariah. On Tuesday, Miley handed out county proclamations honoring the work of medical cannabis advocates Richard Lee of Oaksterdam University and Harborside’s Steve DeAngelo while proudly donning a black t-shirt emblazoned with the word, “cannabis” in a stenciled font.

The three other supervisors on the dais, minus Scott Haggerty, however, stood stoically silent as Miley made laudatory remarks and posed for picture with the two honorees. Miley jokingly admitted the commendations were “to the chagrin of county counsel.” Although medical cannabis is legal in California, it continues to run afoul of federal law, making Tuesday’s award-giving display somewhat of an awkward proposition.

“I like to stretch the envelope,” Miley said of the commendations pursued through his office. After saying, with a grin, that free cannabis should be given free in honor of the day, he added, “some people would like that.”

Miley called Lee, a trailblazer in the medical cannabis movement who opened the well-known Oaksterdam University campus on Broadway in 1997, “someone to be admired.” Miley added federal laws involving access to cannabis need to be changed.

“My feeling is the Obama administration needs to lay off, particularly in the states that passed laws that allow for medical marijuana and stop wasting their time with individuals like Rich and others.”

Lee accepted the proclamation “on behalf of all the brave soldiers” in the fight to legalize cannabis. “It’s not just about medical marijuana patients,” Lee said, “but about making our law enforcement more effective and safer for them.”

As the next agenda item was prepared, Miley said to Lee and DeAngelo as they left the supervisors’ chambers, “You will be vindicated. The war on drugs is a failure.”