Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Tyranny of San Diego’s Operation GreenRX

The Tyranny of San Diego’s Operation GreenRX

By Rocky Neptun

In his brief 28 years, Eugene has followed all the rules, adhered to the law and lived an exemplary life. Yet, today, he stands broken, alone, homeless, persecuted and in daily pain.

Caught up in an out of control San Diego Police Department’s actions and the apparent machinations of an ambitious, power hungry District Attorney; Eugene Davidovich and several dozen other ill San Diegans, including many LGBT community members, have had their lives torn apart and careers ruined.

Davidovich, clean-cut, honest spoken, go-getting; was a child of the American dream, going from good son to impressive student to serving his country in the military. Afterward there came a fine loving marriage, a young son and a promising career in the software development field.

When the anxiety and migraines came several years ago, he followed convention; visiting his doctor, prescription after prescription, with debilitating side-effects resulting in loss of work– until a friend turned him on to the benefits of medical cannabis.

Again, following all the rules; Davidovich joined a medical marijuana collective, got a doctor’s recommendation and a city issued patient card. Self-medicating, effectively and cheaply, he continued his family’s support, confident that he was a law-abiding citizen following the guidelines issued by the California Attorney General as outlined in Proposition 215 and adhering to the city codes and ordinances that legalized and regulated medical marijuana use.

Early this year, along with other legal patients of citywide medical collectives and cooperatives, he was swept up in what appears to be an illicit conspiracy by the Police Chief, William Lansdowne and the ambitious Bonnie Dumanis, to use the power of the badge and the prosecutional muscle of the D.A.’s office to overturn and nullify city ordinances adopted by our elected officials.

Representative democracy appears to be under attack in San Diego as the Police Department, under the apparent orders of the D.A., has broadened a legitimate campaign against drug use on military bases and our campuses called Operation Endless Summer into a witch hunt against medical marijuana users, particularly in our LGBT community.

Dumanis, a Lesbian Republican, is reportedly considering running for the U.S. Senate if Diane Feinstein decides to run for Governor, and according to several insiders needs “body count” to boost her tough, drug-busting image. San Diego’s Police Chief has always detested working under a “liberal” city council. From the harassment and beatings of the homeless and their supporters, to the high profile police shootings of innocent youth, to the continued abuse of police power to persecute legal protected patients; his office schemes with a succession of ideologically driven, Republican mayors rather than work with the council.

Yet, week after week, Davidovich and other legal cannabis users, trudge down to City Council meetings, hoping for fairness and justice, using the open forum period to plead their case. And week after week; eight sphinxes sit, roll their eyes, study reports and continue to ignore the persecution of San Diego citizens or the usurpation of the representative process in San Diego by dictatorial powers.

If the Police Chief can attack legally protected patients, as he is doing in Operation GreenRX; if the District Attorney ‘s office can tell a judge that they have arbitrarily and tyrannically decided that San Diego’s ordinances and laws are invalid [which they did at the preliminary trial of Donna Lambert] without ever informing the City Council or using the legal process to go to a Superior Court or Federal judge to get them overturned: then we have moved ever closer to an Orwellian state.

Davidovich, who followed the rules, yet ended in this Kafka-like nightmare, and all the other ill San Diegans, who thought they were protected by law, only to be attacked and prosecuted by those very authoritarian forces that should be protecting their legal rights, need our help.

Show your support. Join him at his preliminary hearing June 8, 2009 at 8:15am in the San Diego Superior Court (220 W. Broadway, San Diego CA) in Department 11. Send him a few bucks to help him survive [he has lost his job and family because of the publicity]. He can be reached at

“I believe in our justice system, in the rule of law,” Davidovich told me over coffee last week,. “If I had done anything wrong, if I had broke the law, then I would simply plead guilty, accept a plea bargain and end this nightmare.” His fight back, is, indeed, our struggle. If his rights, his legal protections are not valid and can be withdrawn on a prosecutor’s whim or ambition; then, are any of us safe?

[I have secured appointments with Steve Walter, the assistant chief of the narcotics office in the D.A.’s office and with Captain Rosales at Ft. Lansdowne as well as administrative assistants to several city council persons to try and piece together why legally protected citizens are being busted and prosecuted.] More to follow…..

Rocky Neptun is a former elected member of San Diego city government – the mid-city planning board – and served on the city’s needle exchange task force. He is director of the San Diego Renters Union and writes for the MediaLeft website.

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