Thursday, December 31, 2009

Healing our Community

It is clear that we have elements in San Diego at the moment that did not start here, they are from out of town and here to make this issue a vehicle for their own purposes. We, San Diegans, really need to listen to what is being said. For instance, do we really need to be informed by the repeated issuing of the same warnings/advertisement for services that an attorney in LA was roundly chastised for since it was believed to be a scam frightening people into "lawyering up"? Or do we need out of town representatives going from collective to collective impugning the legitimacy or credibility of those that have worked in San Diego for change since the beginning? The answer is NO, we do need to listen to each other and not allow the seeds of dissension to be sown in our own back yard.

I am reminded of my studies of white rats when I did my work to become a psychotherapist. What I found is that when too many white rats were put in a cage they started biting each other, eventually killing and eating one another. Problem was that with the addition of even a single rat, it would increase the stress level passed the threshold of civility and the carnage would begin. Those that had lived together in harmony, and even helped one another, turned on each other with an unreasoning violence.

We have not reached that point in our own community, but it is clear that some are feeling the stress of continued oppression, and in some cases, impending Court cases where they can lose their freedom. We cannot allow that stress to create an implosion eliminating any chance we have of success or to impact the present risk to their freedom.

I would humbly suggest that if you hear anyone speaking ill of any of our peaceful warriors that you consider the source. In addition please consider, any attempt to diminish the strength of any of our warriors will diminish our own chances for free and safe access.

Since my return I have heard disturbing rumors about Eugene, Donna and Terrie. Three of the most courageous of our warriors. We cannot afford this kind of division. Any effort to support that kind of division damages us all in the most serious of ways. I am as always willing to meet with old friends and discuss the differences that may develop, but we cannot, and must not, divide ourselves from each other and the support we all need to continue forward.

Today in San Diego we have an opportunity to reach far beyond everyone's expectations. WE can make it happen here if we do not destroy ourselves in the process. ASA remains the voice for patients and collectives, it speaks for no one else and has no other agenda.

Larry Sweet
Patient Member
San Diego City Council Medical Marijuana Taskforce

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Walter Davis: Eugene Davidovich Trial

Eugene Davidovich is facing a trial in January and he has been unjustly charged by local law enforcement.

Although authorized to use and distribute Medical Marijuana, he has been arrested, lost his job and is currently a victim of Operation Green RX.

For more information, see my column in East County Magazine here 

His story is told below in video; Part one of two in a series. Part two will be out shortly.

This story has appeared on my television show, Progress in San Diego and it will be re-airing in the near future.

Included are direct links to the video, links to our video blog to post comments and html code to be used in other blogs and websites.


Direct Link to Blip-TV VIDEO File

Video Blog Link

Eugene’s Website

Eugene Legal Defense Fund

Walter Davis
Even if you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just stand there.

Monday, December 28, 2009

January 4th City Council Meeting / MMTF Update

Dear San Diego Medical Marijuana Community and Concerned Citizens,

At the last San Diego City Council meeting public comment on the item of Medical Marijuana Recommendations was heard and the Council voted to continue the item until Monday, January 4 at 2:00pm.

It is critical that we turn out and send a quiet message that we want fair regulations and support the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force recommendations.
In support of our message we will be handing out “Target” stickers for supporters of the task force recommendations to wear in response to the “no pot shop” stickers handed out by the county funded organizations who spoke out against regulations at the last meeting. We do not support “pot shops” we support regulations and fair treatment of this issue.

Come to the city council meeting on January 4th at 202 C St San Diego, CA 92101 at 2 pm to get your “Target” sticker and help us send a message to the city council.

The next San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force Meetings:

• Thursday, January 21 – 9am – 11am
• Friday, February 5 – 9am – 11am
• Friday, February 19 – 9am – 11am
The meetings will be every other week until the end of October 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

NC Times - County issues medical marijuana IDs

Advocates say fear, cost keep many from applying

By EDWARD SIFUENTES - | Posted: Saturday, December 26, 2009 7:10 pm

San Diego County has received 260 applications for medical marijuana ID cards since it launched the program in July, according to county health officials.

Nearly half the applications were from people ages 31-50, according to data provided by the county. A quarter of the applicants lived in North County, most of them in Carlsbad.

All of the applicants paid $166 for the card, which identifies them as legitimate medical marijuana patients entitled to carry up to 8 ounces of pot.

The county implemented the program this past summer after it lost a long legal struggle challenging the state law that required counties to provide the ID cards. The law does not require medical marijuana patients to have a card.

While acknowledging the program has only been in place for six months, medical marijuana advocates say the 260 applicants do not come close to the number of people they believe are legally allowed to use the drug. They say patients may be reluctant to apply for the card, fearing the information on the applications will be used by authorities.

"The problem here in San Diego County is that nobody trusts (the county)," said Rudy Reyes, a medical marijuana patient and activist.

The county says those fears are unfounded. The information on the applications is protected under federal privacy laws. And the county's top prosecutor said people should use the card because it quickly identifies them as legitimate users of the drug.

In recent years, law enforcement agencies in the county have repeatedly cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries, including a Sept. 9 sweep that shut down 14 of the shops, two of them in North County.

The number of cards issued in San Diego County in the program's first six months appears to be on par with the number issued by neighboring counties in their first year, according to state figures.

For example, Riverside County issued 265 medical marijuana cards its first year, Los Angeles County issued 401 cards and Orange County issued 114 cards. But advocates cite other places, such as Oakland in Alameda County, which issued 1,475 cards in its first year.

Unfounded fears?

There are potentially thousands of eligible patients in San Diego County based on discussions with doctors who recommend pot as medicine, said Eugene Davidovich, a medical marijuana advocate with the group Americans for Safe Access.

"People are afraid," Davidovich said.

County officials said legitimate patients have nothing to fear.

The county does not provide personal information from the applications to anyone, including law enforcement, because it is protected by federal privacy laws, said Adrienne Yancey, assistant deputy director at the county's Health and Human Services Agency.

"We do not," Yancey said. "If we were subpoenaed, I can't say what would happen then ... (but) we have not been subpoenaed."

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said her office has not asked for the information. She said people should use the ID cards because they help law enforcement identify legitimate patients.

"No one should feel intimidated," Dumanis said. "The county program is totally separate from us."

Of the 260 applications the county received this year through November, 255 were approved. Five were rejected because the county could not get the doctor to confirm the recommendation, Yancey said.

Other statistical information provided to the North County Times by the county includes patients' age range and city of residency. The newspaper also asked for, but did not receive, information on the types of illnesses reported by patients and information about their medical providers.

That information was not provided due to privacy rules, county officials said.

More data

Most of the people who requested a medical marijuana ID are between the ages of 31 and 50, a total of 114 patients, according to the data. Of the 260 applicants, only 14 were between the ages of 18 and 21.

Nearly half of the applicants, 120 people, said they lived in San Diego. Sixty applicants said they lived in North County cities, according to the data. Carlsbad had the highest number of applicants in North County, 14, followed by Vista with 11 and Oceanside with 10, according to the county's data.

Patients' distrust coupled with the $166 price tag for the card may have discouraged people from applying, said James Stacy, a Vista resident who operated one of the medical marijuana dispensaries raided by authorities in September.

The state requires a $66 fee and the county charges $100 to cover staff time and other administrative costs. San Diego County's $166 fee is $13 higher than neighboring Riverside and Los Angeles counties, which charge $153 for the cards.

"Why would I pay $166 to be harassed and be put on a potential arrest list?" Stacy asked.

Stacy faces federal charges of selling marijuana to an undercover officer who posed as a patient at Movement in Action. He has said he did nothing wrong and operated his dispensary according to state guidelines.

In 1996, voters in the state approved the Compassionate Use Act, which legalized marijuana for medical use. The Legislature later passed Senate Bill 420 in 2003, which required counties to participate in the state's medical marijuana ID program.

The county fought the state's medical marijuana law until the case hit a legal dead end earlier this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

'Additional protection'

After losing that case, the Board of Supervisors agreed to implement the medical marijuana ID card program.

Officials estimated that they would receive about 100 applications a month based on other counties' experience.

Yancey said the county processed about 100 applications the first month, but the number quickly dropped off in following months.

Since the state began the program in 2004, more than 37,000 medical marijuana ID cards have been issued. The county with the largest number of cards is San Francisco, with more than 13,000, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

Riverside County has 2,180 ID cards and Orange County has 622, according to state figures.

Davidovich said the county could do more to publicize the card and calm people's fears about privacy protection. Davidovich said he has a card and encourages others to get it because it offers an "additional layer of protection" for legitimate patients.

"We go out of our way to tell people to sign up for the program," Davidovich said.

Call staff writer Edward Sifuentes at 760-740-3511.

San Diego County medical marijuana ID program

Patients by age

Ages 18-21: 14

Ages 22-30: 47

Ages 31-50: 114

Ages 50-over: 85

Total: 260

Applications by city

Carlsbad: 14

Chula Vista: 9

Del Mar: 5

El Cajon: 18

Encinitas: 3

Escondido: 7

Imperial Beach: 3

La Mesa: 12

Lemon Grove: 2

National City: 3

Oceanside: 10

Poway: 1

San Diego: 120

San Marcos: 7

Santee: 6

Solana Beach: 2

Vista: 11

Unincorporated: 27

Total: 260

Source: San Diego County Health and Human Service Agency

Cards issued by county

San Diego: 255

Riverside: 2,180

Orange : 622

Los Angeles: 1,579

Imperial: 15

San Bernardino: 200

Source: California Department of Public Health

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Target Of Hate

By: William West - 12/22/2009

Why are we the target of your hate, what have we done to you?
Why don't you target the meth or coke it kills more than a few?
Pick on the sick, so easy to find the addressess are written down.
Disguising the truth of your personal views is the crime I found.
When in fact Dumanis its you thats really corrupt, I'm... sick of your lies.
We aren't the threat, we ask for control and to work with us we've tried.
For thriteen years we stood here begging with tears of pain in our eyes.
Our rights to compassion you've taken away, Bonnie this you can't hide.
Where is the honor of duty, or fear of harm arresting the sick and weak?
It must feel great to throw a wheelchair bound man to the back of a squad car seat?

Obama Entrapped Me

Medical-pot provider mounts a novel criminal defense in federal court

By Dave Maass, San Diego CityBeat

More than most citizens, James Dean Stacy feels betrayed by the candidate for whom he voted for president.

Up and down the campaign trail, from Los Angeles to Medford, Ore., then-Sen. Barack Obama and his spokespeople pledged that he would end the aggressive raids by the U.S. Department of Justice of medical-marijuana dispensaries operating legally under state law. The candidate said it was a waste of resources that would be better dedicated to fighting terrorism and prosecuting violent crime. Obama said he didn’t see any meaningful difference between marijuana and prescriptions such as morphine and that providers should be protected, excepting those who blatantly use medical-cannabis laws as a shield for otherwise dubious drug trafficking.

When he assumed office, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder echoed the sentiments during several meet-the-new-DOJ appearances in California and New Mexico—“You will be surprised to know that the Justice Department will be acting in a manner consistent with what [the president] said during the campaign”—and, in October, Holder formalized the policy in a set of guidelines distributed to U.S. Attorney offices.

By then, Stacy had been running a medical-marijuana collective, Movement in Action, for five months in the space adjacent to his martial-arts dojo in Vista.

“I’m the most follow-the-rules kind of guy around, so I thought I was the perfect guy to do it,” Stacy tells CityBeat. “When the collective was open, I’d have days where we’d turn away as many as 10 people who didn’t have the proper paperwork.”

In a Dec. 10 court motion, Stacy says he did the due diligence: He researched the prosecutorial policies articulated by Holder, hired a lawyer to walk him through the process and corresponded with the California Secretary of State’s (SOS) office on how to file for “public benefit” status, the technical term for a California nonprofit. The SOS even provided him with a copy of the state Attorney General’s guidelines for running a collective. Unlike many of the other collectives where the San Diego Regional Narcotics Task Force ran stings, Stacy opted for a low-profile model because, he says, “I didn’t want people who didn’t need to know to have it in their face.”

Stacy told undercover officers that they could provide labor to the collective in exchange for medicine and invited them to a “farmers market,” where patients could buy directly from growers—practices he felt were in keeping with the spirit of the California AG’s guidelines. Nevertheless, on Sept. 9, he was arrested after his collective and 13 others were raided.

Now, Stacy is one of only two collective operators who have been charged in federal court as a result of the raids. He faces one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, one count of manufacturing marijuana and one count of possession of a firearm while committing the other crimes—a handgun was found in the locker where he kept the collective’s supply.

The other federal defendant, Joseph Nunes of Green Kross Collective, pleaded guilty to his charges earlier this month. Stacy, however, says he’s not giving in to the prosecution.

“I quote my wife: ‘I’m not going to let you plead guilty to something you didn’t do,’” says Stacy, who uses marijuana to treat pain from martial-arts injuries and to relieve the nausea he’s suffered since losing his gall bladder. “They threatened life-imprisonment at both of my bail hearings.... This is nothing but a terrorist attack against the medical-marijuana community.”

Instead, Stacy is mounting a novel defense: The statements by Obama and Holder constitute entrapment by estoppel, defined as when an official tells someone that something is legal, then busts them for it. Put plainly, Stacy would not have formed the collective if the government hadn’t assured legal collectives that they wouldn’t be prosecuted.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office does not comment on pending cases, and Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman whose pro-medical-marijuana statements were directly cited in the court filing, did not respond to inquiries.

The entrapment defense draws from a “fundamental notion of fairness: The individual must have fair warning of what conduct the government intends to punish,” Stacy’s attorney, Kasha Castillo of Federal Defenders of San Diego, writes in the recent motion. Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz has agreed to hear the motion—which includes a request that the case be dismissed or, alternately, Stacy be allowed to present the entrapment defense in court—on Feb. 3.

When CityBeat first posted a summary of the motion on its blog,, and linked it from the Huffington Post, some commentators wrote it off as a gratuitous and foolish attempt to claim that a candidate’s campaign promises are as good as laws passed by Congress. However, defense attorneys say it isn’t just a novel approach; rather, it’s a potential groundbreaking solution to a longstanding paradox in federal medical-marijuana cases.

San Diego County Deputy Public Defender Juliana Humphrey explains that, historically, medical-marijuana patients and caregivers have been barred from saying they were acting in good-faith under California law because it has not been considered a legitimate defense under federal law.

“Most of the time, the common thought is that trial defendants are getting some kind of advantage because everything is sterilized for the defendant’s benefit,” says Humphrey, who chaired the city of San Diego’s Medical Cannabis Task Force in 2002. “But in this case, it completely keeps from the jury the truth of the motivation of the person that possesses or provides the marijuana for the benefit of the government.”

Last month, a San Diego jury in state Superior Court acquitted Jovan Jackson, the coordinator of Answerdam Alternative Care, of all marijuana-related charges; the foreman told the press following the verdict that California’s laws are too vague to determine whether Jackson’s collective wasn’t in compliance.

Jackson’s trial lawyer, K. Lance Rogers of Turner Law Group, cautions that each case’s circumstance are different—not to mention each jury—and that Jackson’s verdict doesn’t indicate how the federal court will rule on Stacy’s motion. Plus, unlike in Jackson’s case, when the prosecution had to prove he committed the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden will be on the defense during the hearing to show that Stacy was within the law.

“The issues and the challenges that will ultimately come up with Mr. Stacy’s hearing are all of the same issues that came up in Jovan’s case,” Rogers says. “It’s not enough to say, ‘I knew about this information before I set up my collective.’ In my opinion, he needs to show some evidence that he knew the government’s public advisory.”

Stacy’s testimony may be enough, Rogers says, but his communication with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division and the fact he hired a lawyer to advise him may prove the most compelling.

More than the entrapment defense, Rogers is interested in another argument Stacy’s attorney makes: The federal government violated the 10th Amendment protection of states’ rights by enlisting San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies to enforce a federal law that contradicts state law.

“The federal government can’t commandeer state law enforcement to implement federal policies, and the keyword is ‘commandeering,’” Rogers says. “This is a fundamental principle of federalism and American jurisprudence. That’s a fascinating argument that has not been decided to my knowledge.”

Until it is decided, Stacy is keeping his nose (and his pipe) clean. He believes he has the right to continue using marijuana for medical purposes but has switched to Marinol, a synthetic THC pill, until the court gives him explicit permission at his next bail hearing.

“I did not, I do not and I will not break the law,” Stacy says.

Write to and .

Read More at San Diego City Beat!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Medical Marijuana Victory in San Diego - Stop Operation Green Rx

Another victory for patients in San Diego. The campaign to Stop Operation Green Rx, in collaboration with San Diego ASA was able to provide help for a patient being unjustly prosecuted by Bonnie Dumanis. Charges Dropped., Case Dismissed, Medical Marijuana is law.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Support James Stacey

By: Marcus Boyd, San Diego ASA

See the content rich version here:

If you listen to the misinformation by medical marijuana prohibitionists like San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis you would believe that the law surrounding medical marijuana is vague and confusing.

However, consider this going forward...
The California Constitution requires that any changes to a voter initiative must be submitted to the voters of the state and approved by them or by appellate and supreme court decisions.

Thus, no local City Council, nor Mayor, nor Board of Supervisors, nor Sheriff, nor Legislature, nor Attorney General, nor Governor, nor San Diego County District Attorney has the legal right to change the state’s medical marijuana law. Only the voters can change or modify this law, and... every public opinion poll ever taken agrees with Prop 215 and disagrees with the prohibitionists using the terms vague and confusing.

The law is not at all vague or confusing! The law is legal and binding.

The prohibitionists are unable to 'convict' a medical marijuana patient for possessing, transporting or consuming medical marijuana, or even for selling in California if done so within the framework of a medical marijuana collective or cooperative.

With that said, the law is only "confusing" to those who can't figure out why they don't have a 'vague' chance at convicting someone due to law they personally object to, didn't vote for, and will not support.

The US Supreme Court has had three opportunities to declare the Compassionate Use Act unconstitutional yet they have not only refused to do so their legal decisions have clearly upheld that the People of California had every right to pass and enforce the CUA as a state law.

As far as courts go, the California law is really only vague and confusing to the federal court.
Defendants like James Stacey really do need your help today.
Please support Truth In Trials by clicking here to quickly and easily contact the U.S. the Representative in your area.

Dumanis interviewed after Jackson verdict, “For Profit” MMJ sales now legal
CANDIDATE WANTED: District Attorney for the County of San Diego
Pledge Your Support: Replace the San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis

Friday, December 18, 2009

Interview with James Stacy before and after today's Federal Court Hearing

James Stacy is a victim of Operation Green Rx who was charged federally for operating a medical marijuana collective in San Diego County.

Visit for more information on James Stacy's case.

Watch the interview with James Stacy before and after today's Federal Court Hearing.

James Stacy Federal Court - 5th Floor Courtroom 15

A hearing in James Stacy’s federal case is scheduled for today at 1:30 pm in the Federal Courthouse at 940 Front Street San Diego, CA 92101-8900 - 5th Floor Courtroom 15

Please come out and support James in court. He is a victim of Dumanis’ efforts to overturn state law and the will of the voters with regards to proposition 215. James was a founding member of a legal collective in San Diego which was raided on September 9th and now is facing Federal charges for legally cultivating and distributing medication in his closed circuit collective.

For more information on James Stacy’s federal case visit

Eugene Davidovich
San Diego Americans for Safe Access

James Stacy Hearing Today at 1:30

James Stacy Federal hearing is scheduled for today at 1:30 pm in the Federal Courthouse at 940 Front Street San Diego, CA 92101-8900

Please come out and support James in court. He is a victim of Dumanis’ efforts to overturn state law and the will of the voters with regards to proposition 215. James was a founding member of a legal collective in San Diego which was raided on September 9th and now is facing Federal charges for legally cultivating and distributing medication in his closed circuit collective.

James doesn’t know what courtroom he is in yet, but we will put the information out as soon as we know. At 1pm we plan on meeting in front of the courthouse.

For more information on James Stacy’s federal case visit

Eugene Davidovich

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

James Stacy - Federal MMJ Trial

Support James Stacy as he stands up against the charges in Federal Court!
James was raided on 9/9/9 as part of Bonnie Dumanis' effort to overturn the will of the people.

Please visit his website and donate to his legal defense:

Medical Marijuana Trial of Donna Lambert

Donna Lambert: I want to dedicate this page to the release of the over 40,000 marijuana prisoners now being held in Americans prison system. To their release and exoneration of their records, and to the people trying to fight this unjust system over a plant.

Support Donna Lambert! A true Freedom Fighter!

Nonsense About Medical Marijuana and Teens

A new survey showing, among other things, a slight uptick in teen marijuana use, got considerable press yesterday and today. A widely-circulated Associated Press story, along with many other reports, included this claim: “The increase of teens smoking pot is partly because the national debate over medical use of marijuana can make the drugs seem safer to teenagers, researchers said.”


Medical marijuana burst onto the national scene in 1996, when California passed the first effective medical marijuana law, Arizona passed a flawed initiative with similar intent (whose value turned out to be only symbolic due to its wording), and the Clinton administration went ballistic. It stayed a major issue in 1998 and 1999 as a further wave of initiatives passed and the Institute of Medicine issued a report giving a qualified endorsement to medical marijuana, which has been in and out of the spotlight ever since.

In 1996, the last survey taken before any medical marijuana initiatives passed, 11.3 percent of eighth graders reported current (past 30 days) marijuana use. For 10th graders the figure was 20.4 percent, and for 12th graders it was 21.9 percent. In 2009, after 13 years of medical marijuana laws that now exist in 13 states, the figures for current use are 6.5 percent for eighth graders, 15.9 percent for 10th graders and 20.6 percent for 12th graders.

The pattern is the same for lifetime use: In every age group, marijuana use is down, not up, since the medical marijuana debate hit the national stage. That’s even true in California, where the lack of tight regulation has led to the most allegations of abuse, according to the official California Student Survey. Alas, the state no longer seems to have the data posted online, but we compiled it (and other state surveys) here.

It’s a shame that researchers who’ve been enlisted in the war on marijuana choose to repeat unfounded propaganda rather then address the reality that their federal bosses prefer to avoid: Teen access to marijuana isn’t caused by laws that let sick patients use it, it’s caused by a failed policy of prohibition that prevents the sort of sensible regulation we apply to tobacco.

The White House Lies About AMA Position

MPP Blog

by Ben Morris, MPP

We told readers a few weeks ago that MPP would update them on how the government was responding to the American Medical Association’s new policy on marijuana. To refresh everyone’s memory, the AMA’s new policy is:

Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product. (source)

So they don’t go as far as we do, but they are calling for a review of marijuana’s Schedule I status (Schedule I drugs being defined as having no medical value). Now, lets look at how the drug czar is characterizing it. To quote the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s latest anti-medical marijuana literature:

The American Medical Association: “To help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabionoid-based medicines, the AMA adopted (a) new policy … This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.” (source)

Notice the ellipses? Here is what the press release they’re quoting from actually says in full:

“To help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabionoid-based medicines, the AMA adopted new policy urging the federal government to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. Despite more than 30 years of clinical research, only a small number of randomized, controlled trials have been conducted on smoked cannabis. (source)

What you’re seeing here is a blatant misrepresentation of the American Medical Association’s policy on marijuana. The ONDCP should be held accountable, and you can help do that by sending them an e-mail here.

I’m sick of being lied to.

L. A. City Council ducks medical pot vote at wild meeting; harsh land-use limits anger crowd

By Christine Pelisek in City News
Wed., Dec. 16 2009 @ 3:49PM

No surprise: At a raucous meeting today, the Los Angeles City Council decided to hold off on voting on a controversial medical marijuana ordinance that would severely reduce the 545 pot shops in Los Angeles.

The postponement came after the city's Planning Department presented hurriedly created maps showing that only five of 137 pot shops envisioned under a City Council cap could remain at their current locations if the city adopts a buffer zone to keep them at least 500 feet from schools, youth centers, libraries, religious institutions and residential properties. The remaining 118 would most likely have to relocate, many to industrial zones.

The findings caused a stir among council members and pro-medical marijuana advocates who booed many of the details presented by city planner Alan Bell. Here's the amazing part:

This was the first time, five years after the council decided it needed to adopt local regulations for selling medical weed, that the City Council has ever seen a zoning map showing where pot shops would be located or be banned under a typical "buffer zone" approach used in many California cities.

Unlike San Diego, where a respected polling group conducted a detailed survey of city residents to learn what residents wanted to do about medical pot (San Diego residents strongly back medical weed, but only 23 percent want a pot dispensary within a mile of their homes), Los Angeles just recently began debating land-use and neighborhood impact.

San Francisco acted about one year ago, adopting a 1,000-foot buffer around its schools and has shut down roughly half of its 50 pot shops.

The hot-button issue, which has been bogged down in a gridlocked Los Angeles City Council committee for many years, gained steam in the last few weeks after the council voted on December 8 to limit the number of pot shops to 137 -- those shops that opened up before the council rushed to adopt a 2007 pot outlet moratorium.

The council asked the Planning Department to draw up detailed maps that would show how close the pot shops would be to schools, youth centers, libraries, religious institutions and residential properties if buffer zones are adopted.

The Planning Department found that if pot shops were limited to a 500-foot buffer zone around sensitive uses, they could open in 31 percent of the city's commercial and industrial areas -- but only five percent of those areas would be commercial spots such as business districts. The rest would be industrially zoned.

If the city decides on a 1,000-foot buffer from sensitive uses, no pot shops would be able to open, said Bell.

If nothing else, the meeting showed which council members were in favor of pot shops and which members were not. Rosendahl, whose lover died of AIDS, said that if it wasn't for medical marijuana his lover would not have been able to eat. "We are treating this like a pariah. There are liquor stores all over the place. It should be legal...Putting it in back alleys and industrial areas is wrong."

Garcetti argued that he wanted to give "special consideration" for those pot shops who opened before the moratorium. "I don't want to have secondary effects where there are no clinics," he said.

But referring to the pro-marijuana advocates dominating the audience, Alarcon said the city had already "gone a long way to give [the medical marijuana advocates] what they want."

Alarcon was resoundingly booed by the crowd, but continued: "We don't have to do this...I don't want it 1,000 feet from my kid. Period."

Councilman Smith noted that pot shops have become crime magnets yet the City Council is being shown zoning maps instead of maps from the Los Angeles Police Department showing the crime hot spots. "My district won't stand for it," Smith said.

His comments caused a furor again among the rowdy pro-marijuana crowd, and security guards threatened to throw people out. "All your boos prove to me that you aren't good citizens," lamented Smith.

The next City Council hearing on the issue is set for January 13.

Nathan Archer Walks Away From Court Again

By: Nathan Archer

I am not a drug offender or Narcotics offender. I have no drug related History. I am allowed by San Diego Court to be able to continue with medical marijuana but must register as a narcotics offender. Which I am not!!!
1 2/15 /2009

Today was a difficult day as at the last minute the judge was replaced by Judge Gale E. Kaneshiro and though my case was number 4 on the docket I was almost the last person in the court room before they called my case.

The Judge would not let allow me to request new council; as she stated that I was not represented as pro per but, I had been appointed a Public Defender through the whole proceedings. She stated that, "Though Mr. Archers Public Defender retired," (after my second trial case), " the Public Defenders Office has not".

San Diego NORML Vice President: Mara Felsen, Esq. requested that the judge allow a continuance as they were willing to take the case. The Judge informed me that I was still considered by the court as being represented by the Public Defenders Office.blic Defenders Office and file to be represented Pro Per and we would have to have a ruling on that.

The Bailiff offered that if I use the Public Defender to state that I want to seek new council it would expedite things and we would end up with the same resolve.S.D. NORML V.P. Mara Felsen, Esq. and I concurred it seemed less court time so I consented.

An available Public Defender was spoken to by Ms. Felsen, Esq. and he agreed. I was called before the Court and the Public Defender did as I asked, He requested that I be allowed a continuance as I wish to appoint new council.

The Judge Agreed, then stated that my probation was revoked and that I was to return to court in 14 days with proof of my "Registration as a Narcotics Offender".

I spoke up, " Your Honor, did you receive My Statement?".
The Judge replied, "Yes."
I then stated, " The whole context of my statement is that I have no Narcotics or Drug abuse History. I am allowed by the court to continue with my Medical Marijuana and am appealing my case at the Supreme Court Level......"
The Judge commented "yes.."
I continued, " The Kentucky and Indiana courts recognize that it Registering is only punitive in Nature and Unconstitutional.
I am appealing my case at the Supreme Court Level."
" I see," said the Judge thoughtfully.
"Okay, Mr Archer is to remain at liberty on probation. The Public Defender is relieved, Retained counsel Marar Felsen, Esq. is appearing in behalf of defendant. Court stays condition to register HS11590 pending appeal."

I walked out of the Court room feeling much better, joined by my new found friends; Euguene, Mara, Craig, Bill, others including Waldon. A great friend who has seen my case through the end and harder times. Thank you all for supporting me and everyone else who cared.

After my case it was Eugene Davidovich's turn. He was attempting to have his case dismissed. His is another battle in San Diego. He was stung by an undercover who lied extensively and; was a validated Medical Marijuana Patient, confirmed by a Doctors office. All that so he could become a patient of Euguene's collective service.

Things did not go so well for him, but it is still the early stages and things are getting better.

In my trip to San Diego I was most upset to learn that Bonnie Dumanis is attempting to have California Prop 215 re- evaluated and rewritten "Because it is too vague".

I Stood with Eugene, Bill and many others outside while Bonnie Dumanis had a meeting inside. I spoke to several T.V. Stations, KUSI 6, 7, 8, 9, 10..

San Diego is going too far!!!

We need to come down on them for attacking people who don't even live there, especially after they have refused to obey the law. They have opposed the State in court now 6 times and each time were shut down and ordered to follow the law. Yet San Diego responds with "Operation Endless Summer" they continue to refuse to allow patient rights and are seriously hurting people and their lives regardless, systematically and mercilessly.

Please support the efforts of the various Chapters in San Diego ( NORML, ASA...) see how you can help.

I will be back in court for my continuance on January 26, 2010 at 9:00 am Dept. 12. You are welcome to join me; but please be respectful of the Law as we are trying to help make it.


Update on Eugene Davidovich 995 Hearing

Yesterday at 1:30 PM at my 995 Hearing, the courtroom was packed and I want to sincerely thank EVERYONE who came out and helped spread the word about my case and the hearing. We had a small victory yesterday in one of the charges being dismissed. Still 3 to go and trial coming up on January 21.

More info about yesterday to come.

I am thankful and proud to be part of this amazing community!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on Nathan Archer Bail Hearing

Thank you to all who came out to support Nathan Archer this morning for his Bail Hearing in San Diego Court. He was NOT required to register as a Drug Offender and this is another win for the MMJ Community! Thanks Nathan for Fighting!!

Nathan personally addressed Judge Kineshiro and asked for a continuance in having to register while his case is on appeal. His request was approved!

Nathan is looking for representation and can be contacted at the following email address:

Lets support Nathan in his Appeal and in his fight for our rights.

Eugene Davidovich
San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Monday, December 14, 2009

Protest / Rally against Bonnie Dumanis 12/15 - 5-7pm

The Shapery Emerald Plaza Building,
400 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

December 15, 2009
5:00pm - 7:30pm (please come a little early)

Please join us for a peaceful and legal protest against the San Diego District Attorney Bonie Dumanis on Tuesday December 15th from 5pm to 7pm. Dumanis is holding a fundraiser for her reelection campaign at the Shapery Building next to the Hall of Justice in Downtown San Diego.

San Diegan’s from all walks of life have been affected by the shameful practices of Dumanis and are no longer willing to stay quiet about it. Bring a friend, bring a sign, get involved!

1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting

To see all the San Diego ASA News Briefs visit: