Wednesday, July 15, 2009

San Diego Narcotics Division Top Priority: Shut Down Medical Cannabis in San Diego

San Diego Narcotics Division top priority: shut down medical cannabis collectives in San Diego.
Eugene Davidovich
July 15, 2009

The preliminary hearing in my case lasted from 8:15 in the morning until almost 4:30 in the afternoon. After trying to navigate the “Serpentine Roadmap” that makes up our medical marijuana laws with my attorney in court, it appears to be more confusing then ever.

The day started with the prosecutor fighting tooth and nail to not allow the recommendation from my physician to be admitted into the court records proving that I am a qualified patient even though we had subpoenaed the documentation from the doctor’s office, and had a sworn affidavit to support that from the doctor’s custodian of record. My recommendation was admitted although it took a lot of effort from my attorney.

The expert witness Chris Conrad, did get to testify and testified that the collective and the way that it was operating was in fact legal and sanctioned under state law. Even though the expert witness who was originally involved in an advisory and consulting capacity in drafting Prop 215 testified to what a collective is and that what I was doing did in fact fall under that definition as intended by the law, the judge did not agree he saw ‘no evidence of a collective” even though the detectives themselves said that I cultivated marijuana based on the equipment they found in my storage unit.

We also found out from Detective Conrado Decastro that this Operation Green Rx was in fact targeting Medical Marijuana Patients and the whole point with Operation Green Rx was to bring down everyone listing their collectives on NORML only later was the name changed to Operation Endless Summer. We also found out that Conrado Decastro is in charge and is the ‘mastermind’ behind “Operation Green Rx”.

On a side note: In February when I was arrested, Conrado Decastro interrogated me at the police station. During the interrogation he pulled out two large 3 inch black binders that had a large red cross and marijuana leaf on them. The two binders contained a large number of tabs with last names of people. As he pulled out the two binders, he told me that I was not alone, and that “we are gonna bring all you medical pot people down”.

Detective Scott Henderson (Jamie Conlan), conveniently ‘could not recall’ the details of the two phone conversations we had where I explained to him that this was a collective cultivation effort, and that he was not to divert the medicine to the illicit market. It was also very convenient that the detectives recorded everything except for the phone conversations even though he testified that the equipment for such recordings was readily available.

It was unbelievable to see this much resources from the practically bankrupt county of San Diego being spent on this effort. There were for example at least five bailiffs in the courtroom, the DA had at least five other people from the DA’s office advising her on how to properly prosecute this case, and they brought out three detectives to testify. All this during a Preliminary Hearing for a case where both people are qualified medical cannabis patients and one requested to join the other collective.

It seems that the San Diego Narcotics Division TOP priority has been made to investigate and shut down medical cannabis collectives in San Diego.

Here is another example from my Preliminary Hearing this Monday.:
Conrado Decastro, the Investigative Officer in my case, was identified by his colleague Scott Henderson as the officer in charge of Operation Green Rx.

Conrado Decastro testified that he based his opinion of collectives and medical marijuana on training he received during his career. When questioned further about who conducted this training, he referenced a privately funded lobby group called California Narcotic Officers Association (CNOA). He also testified that during his training he received a handout which he used to base his expert testimony on, as to what a medical marijuana collective is and what constitutes qualified patient use.

Here is a brief sample from that handout:
Quick Facts:
Marijuana, a plant from the cannabis family, is illegal and highly psychoactive.
Marijuana and its associated compunds can seriously affect the human body.
Marijuana is NOT medicine.

Handout can be downloaded here from the CNOA California Narcotic Officers Association:

The expert testimony of Chris Conrad in my case is based on his involvement in working with the drafters of the actual Prop 215 and the law, which the judge did not agree with. However, this handout which is clearly designed to sway people into thinking that cannabis is not medicine is a valid document to base Conrado Decastro’s opinion on, which the judge did agree with.

In San Diego our Narcotics Officers are instructed that Marijuana is NOT Medicine and is highly addictive, our judges refer to medical cannabis as "dope", and the prosecutors fight with all their might to not allow legitimate patients to present subpoenaed physician records as evidence of their patient status.

As more collectives open here in San Diego, it is now more critical then ever for patients from the Medical Cannabis Community in San Diego to stand together against this continued attempt to overturn the will of the people, by a select bias driven few.

In short, it went as expected. The bias shined bright in court!

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