In California it has been over a decade since the Compassionate Use Act. Several years since SB420, and almost a year since the California Attorney General's guidelines. We have even had The California Third District Court of Appeal last week issue a ruling reaffirming patients rights to collectively cultivate medical marijuana.
However here in San Diego we still have our leadership debating whether marijuana is medicine. The San Diego DA’s Office has stated numerous times that there is no such thing as a legal collective or cooperative, and that anyone who engages in an attempt to cultivate and distribute collectively is obviously in it for profit, "why else would they get in to this activity".
We have judges who refuse to accept a written physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana as a valid patient status in court, and refuse to allow court qualified expert witnesses to testify in medical marijuana cases that are brought in by the defense.
In these same cases, San Diego narcotics detectives are allowed to testify as ‘experts’ on medical cannabis, even though they have received no more then 1 hour of medical marijuana training in their entire career, are not familiar with the laws already in place, and have testified in court that they have never seen a legal collective.
All while the San Diego county board of supervisors makes “illegal dispensaries illegal” adding more confusion to the already confusing serpentine roadmap of laws that patients have to go through.
By their actions and statements the District Attourney, Chief of Police, and our County Board have all made it clear, San Diego is NOT a safe place for any collective cultivation efforts, here patients are rounded up in drug sting operations, prosecuted, and forced into taking plea bargains. The few that put up a fight are thrown in jail.
There are many collectives in San Diego that have gone above and beyond what is required in order to comply and stay within the law. Yet every attempt made to date by in San Diego has resulted in long investigations, prosecutions, and collectives having to operate so deeply underground and under such intense daily fear and pressure, that the potential public benefit they could be bringing to the community and to patients is stifled by this environment of fear.
We as a community need to educate the public on the truth and benefits of medical cannabis and the laws already in place. How many more years need to pass and how many more lives need to be destroyed until there is change in San Diego and until patients rights are respected?
I am Eugene Davidovich and have been a resident of San Diego for over 20 years, honorably discharged from the US Navy, and having completed an MBA, I built a successful career in Software Development Project Management. I also am a medical cannabis patient and operated a non profit collective here in San Diego until last February when my house was raided and I arrested in ‘Operation Green Rx’ later announced by the District Attorney in a press conference as ‘Operation Endless Summer’.
In this operation a local San Diego Police Detective lied to his doctor about his identity and condition, obtained a valid recommendation for medical marijuana and joined the majority of the medical collectives and coops listed on the San Diego section of the CA NORML list.
The detective called me and joined the collective over the phone. Then after verifying his eligibility with his doctor I allowed him to join the collective. While pretending to be a sick patient, he requested that I deliver medical cannabis to him. Having seen him once and provided him with a ¼ ounce of medical cannabis, I am now facing 4 felony charges, $65,000 bail, and permanent profoundly traumatic damage to my professional and personal life.
Please join me in the struggle for patients' rights to collectively cultivate and distribute medication by supporting me in court on July 13th, 2009 at 8:15am.
To learn more about my case and to see the actual footage of the undercover operation where I deliver the medication to the undercover officer, please visithttp://www.eugenedavidovic