The preliminary hearing in my case lasted today 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) today, 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. Today for example, there were at least 5 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.
It seems that the San Diego Narcotics Division TOP priority has been made to investigate and shut down medical cannabis collectives in San Diego.
I am still in shock after today and am now trying to figure out how to get funds together for my attorney to retain him further.
It seems that the DA is heavily invested into this ‘war’ and it seems that I just might end up being another ‘casualty’ as fighting this machine seems almost impossible, especially when they have unlimited disposal to their attorneys and ‘advisors’ and I have to rely on my self, a public defender, or somehow attempt to afford an attorney after loosing my employment and savings as a result of these charges.
In short, it went as expected. The bias shined bright in court today!
Thank you again to everyone who came and supported me in court today. It was truly inspiring to turn around and see a packed courtroom in the morning as well as to get to speak with a number of you.
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.