Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A More Perfect Union - SDNN.com Opinion

Eugene Davidovich: Proving my medical marijuana case
By Eugene Davidovich - 7:19 AM August 11, 2009

This week brings more harassment to collectives and patients in San Diego by our local law enforcement. There are now reports from patients that police officers are parking their squad cars outside of collectives to intimidate the members as they go inside to get their medication. This, just weeks after Pierre Tiberius Uggla (a.k.a. San Diego Green Rx Detective Mike Mendez) was caught trying to join two collectives in town and months after Jamie Conlan (a.k.a. San Diego Green Rx Detective Scott Henderson) went to a local doctor and lied to obtain a valid recommendation for medical cannabis then joined all the collectives he could reach listed on the CA NORML.

All this for Operation Green Rx; the intent to target and eliminate all medical cannabis related activity in San Diego as well as help overturn Proposition 215 voted in by the people of California. Operation Green Rx was organized by detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s Narcotics Task force in collaboration with the District Attorney’s office and has been ongoing under one name or another for years in order to thwart the will of the people.

In this operation, detectives go to local doctors, lie about their symptoms, conditions and identities to obtain recommendations for medical cannabis. With these recommendations in-hand, detectives join as many of the collectives and cooperatives they can. The operation usually includes the detectives phoning collectives, providing all pertinent information to prove their status as legitimate patients, and then requesting to join each individual collective. Keep in mind, these collective and their existence is legal under California law.

The undercover officers proceed to request deliveries, make contributions, or pick up medicine form the collectives themselves. Last November the Operation Green Rx team rented and occupied a house in Pacific Beach for this purpose, (I wonder how much that cost the taxpayers?), then three months later, raided over 15 houses, sticking true to their motto of “Let the courts sort it out” at more cost, I might add.

These same detectives are trained by the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA) and told that “Marijuana is not medicine.” They tout this training in court as qualified medical training. The detectives then go after, not only the collectives in town, but also the doctors recommending medical cannabis to patients.
The District Attorney’s office as well as the Narcotics Team are instructed to “fight fiercely against marijuana” and believe that “marijuana is not medicine.” These same people have been against all things related to medical cannabis.

Although the intent of Operation Green Rx may be to eradicate medical cannabis in San Diego in support of San Diego County’s fight against Proposition 215, so far this attempt has miserably failed. As of today, there are more legal collectives and coops in San Diego than there ever have been in the past. Medical cannabis has been legal and will continue to be legal in California until the laws are changed by the people as they were in 1996 when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, not by a select few in our local government and law enforcement who believe they are on a “higher” mission.

The only result that this misguided fight has brought, is years of uncertainty and an atmosphere of fear, and hundreds of innocent lives destroyed.

While San Diego is home to thousands of medical cannabis patients, so far as announced by the District Attorney less than 200 have signed up for the county Medical Marijuana Identification Card. I wonder if the low numbers are due to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis publicly announcing that she is keeping track of exactly how many cards are issued and Supervisor Dianne Jacobs proclamation that this is now a great list of “users” that they can monitor.

In court, the story doesn’t change much — judges refer to cannabis as dope, the police refuse to hear or acknowledge the law, and the District Attorney’s office fights hard to deny the court seeing any evidence of the patient’s qualified status in hopes of trying individuals as drug dealers — worst of all the judges agree.

This type of prejudice, harassment, outright bias by the prosecution, efforts to pass moratoriums and bans — as well as the absence of the Mayor’s office to participate in the medical cannabis task force — only adds more confusion to the already confusing and impossible to follow “serpentine road-map” that makes up our medical cannabis laws.

Will there come a time when there is clarity? Will there ever be accountability for this waste, fraud, and abuse directed at medical cannabis patients in San Diego? Or will the opponents be successful in overturning Proposition 215? These questions will continue to be asked, and the voices with which they are asked will continue to grow stronger.

Please help stop this illegal operation, senseless waste, abuse, harassment of legitimate patients, and the bias of a select few by supporting me in court.

Read the Operation Green Rx Blog – http://www.operationgreenrx.blogspot.com

Join the Cause to Stop Operation Green Rx – http://www.causes.com/operationgreenrx

Eugene Davidovich

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