Thursday, May 28, 2009
Operation Green Rx Endless Summer
My name is Eugene Davidovich and I have lived in San Diego for over 20 years, four of which I was in the Navy. My service included two gulf deployments and numerous campaigns for which I was awarded medals and letters of commendation from my superiors. After being honorably discharged I completed my education earning an MBA. In addition for the last five years I have been building a successful career in software development.
After the service I developed several conditions. The symptoms I experienced as a result were unbearable, and prevented me from being able to function day to day. My ability to work, live a productive life, and complete my education, was seriously affected. I first turned to my regular doctors, who prescribed multiple pharmaceutical drugs, from which the side effects overpowered the benefits. With the use of medical cannabis I was able to find relief from my symptoms, maintain a normal life, and stay off the doctor prescribed drugs. I used cannabis to relieve the symptoms and was able to complete a Bachelors Degree in Business Management, a Masters in Business Administration, all while working full time on my career as a Software Development Project Manager for an IT company here in town.
When I began to seek access to medical cannabis in San Diego, I first found out that I had to either cultivate it myself, or go to one of three collectives/dispensaries that I found locally. At first I had no knowledge or the ability to cultivate, so I joined one of the collectives and obtained medication from there. In August of 2008 all the collectives that dispensed medication in San Diego were shut down by Local Law Enforcement. This left Orange County as the closest place for safe access. The August 2008 raids effectively eliminated all safe access in San Diego County. At this point I decided to form a collective, cultivate, and collectively distribute medical cannabis to other members of the collective at no profit.
In November of last year I received a call from a patient referring to himself as Jamie Conlan asking to join the collective in order to obtain medical cannabis. He said he suffered from multiple conditions for which his doctor recommended the use of cannabis. After calling his doctor, and verifying that he was in fact a real patient, as well as verifying that his doctor was legally licensed to practice medicine in CA, I called this patient back and explained how the collective works. He joined my collective, and I agreed to meet with him and provide him with medication. I met this patient and provided seven grams of medical cannabis to him at his house in Pacific Beach, a suburb of San Diego.
When I arrived at the house, I first verified that all the information he had provided to me over the phone matched his CA Drivers License by physically inspecting his Driver’s License. I then checked that the same information matched his Recommendation Letter and that the letter appeared to be authentic, and it did. Once I was certain all the information was correct, and that this was the same person who joined the collective over the phone, I went back to my car, got the medicine, went into the house and gave him 7 grams (1/4 of an ounce) of medical cannabis. After a brief conversation I left the house and did not hear from him again.
Three months later, on a Tuesday morning at 7am as I was getting ready for work my house was raided by an armed narcotics team from the San Diego Police Department. After being detained in handcuffs at my house in front of my wife, child, and neighbors for about seven hours, I was hauled off to jail, slapped with four felony charges and $65,000 bail related to the distribution, sales, and possession of marijuana.
The day of my arraignment, the DA’s office held a press conference where they touted the success of operation Endless Summer. (http://www.sdcda.org/files/Operation%20Endless%20Summer%202-13-09.pdf) They proclaimed that they cleaned up the streets of Navy Housing from dangerous drug dealers and seized a large amount of heroin, meth, marijuana, as well as other illegal drugs off the streets of navy housing. During the press conference, there was no mention of medical marijuana or Operation GreenRx.
The evening news quickly picked up the story and that night showed video of me at the arraignment hearing, painting me as the poster child of this operation both mentioning my name and showing my picture following the description of the total number of illegal drugs seized during Operation Endless Summer. (http://www.sandiego6.com/mostpopular/story/Undercover-Drug-Sting-Targets-San-Diego-Military/oQ_CL4MEc0WE5HqZMoELNQ.cspx?articleID=575525)
I am not a dangerous drug dealer, I did not possess any illegal drugs and I was operating the collective under what I truly believed was the guidance of California State Law. As a result of this press conference and charges, my personal and professional life has been permanently damaged.
Two weeks ago I witnessed Jamie Conlan testify against another medical cannabis collective that he had entrapped during this operation. He said in court that he lied to the doctor about his condition and symptoms and that he was able to obtain an authentic recommendation letter using an authentic CA Drivers license with the fake name of Jamie Conlan. He then testified that he targeted the entire medical marijuana community in an operation which at first was called GreenRx and then later renamed to Endless Summer.
A lack of regulations and inconsistencies between city and state laws has resulted in an environment of fear where collectives are raided, patients are prosecuted and safe access to medication without fear simply does not exist. Since medical marijuana is an official legal medication in the state of California, approved by the state senate, there should be no reason for a patient to hide and be afraid of getting the medications they need. The city should re-convene the Medical Marijuana Task Force that has never officially been dissolved, and start seriously considering regulations for the establishment of dispensing collectives and coops here in San Diego.
It is also critical that patients remain at the center of any adopted policy. As such, the leadership of our Department of Health should be at the helm of developing such policies not the local law enforcement. The scarce economic resources we have in this city would be much better spent on working with medical cannabis patients to establish a sanctioned source of medication rather than investigate, prosecute, and damage people’s lives.
The preliminary hearing in my case will be held on June 8, 2009 @ 8:15am in the San Diego
Superior Court (220 W. Broadway, San Diego CA) in Department 11.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / T: 619-206-9256
My attorney can be contacted at: Michael McCabe 619-231-3958
1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting
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