Wednesday, April 14, 2010

San Diego ASA Meeting Update

By: Eugene Davidovich, 4/14/2010

SAN DIEGO – On April 13th the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access held their monthly meeting at the Pt. Loma Public Library. The location was great! A state of the art conference room that fits over 120 people, with comfy modern chairs, and perfect lighting. The problem was getting into the actual room on time.

Although the meeting was supposed to start at 6:00pm, when we got to the location, we were told that another group was still using the room and might be running a little late. When we inquired further, we found out it was the Citizens Review Board, a police oversight committee that was meeting in the room.

Closer to 6pm, as there was already a small crowd gathered in the Library lobby outside the Community Room where out meeting was to be held, a gentleman dressed in civilian clothes, wearing a badge and a gun came out of the room and explained that they were running late and were in the middle of discussing a very important case. He and another lady from the group profusely apologized for the delay they were causing us. At 6:30 we were finally able to get into the room.

With the help of pretty much everyone who came, we rearranged all the chairs and desks in the room in a matter of minutes to accommodate our meeting and kicked the meeting off!

We began with a brief discussion of the National ASA News Letter. After the newsletter discussion we cut the cake, provided courtesy of Rich and Carol in celebration of the recent victory in my case (People v Davidovich).

We went on to discuss AB 2650 and the bill’s defeat at the California Assembly Committee on Public Health. This was a bill that would have effectively banned medical marijuana dispensaries in California requiring buffer zones between collective and a laundry list of “sensitive uses” such as churches, schools, youth center, etc. The bill did not pass the committee in part thanks to the lobbying efforts of Don Duncan from Americans for Safe Access.

Following the newsletter discussion and AB 2650, Lance Rogers, Attorney at Law, and council for Jovan Jackson, a medical marijuana patient recently acquitted of all charges by a jury of 12 peers, spoke about recent Code Compliance visits to collectives and patients’ homes. He mentioned there has been reports of both collective facilities as well as personal homes of patients, being targeted for Code Compliance visits and inspections. Mr. Rogers suggested that without a subpoena, court order, or search warrant, these inspectors did not have to be allowed in and urged that any such visits be handled very carefully and preferably in the presence of an attorney. Mr. Rogers can be reached at 619-232-2311

The next speaker was Stephen Whitburn, an active member of the San Diego (City) Medical Marijuana Task Force and former candidate for San Diego City Council. Mr. Whitburn provided an update on the work the task force has done in the last few months as well as the recommendations they provided to the San Diego City Council. All the Task Force meeting notes, agedas, and recommendations are available on the Task Force’s website:

Mr. Whitburn also shared with us the recent start of his campaign for San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 4. He explained his views on the issues that need to be addressed in San Diego County and that the County should be governed with transparency, debate, and the involvement of the community, all of which are currently lacking or missing with the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Whitburn’s positions and campaign details can be found at his website:

Following Mr. Whitburn, we heard from Dan Murphy, a patient, advocate, and Americans for Safe Access member who came up and shared his views on the movement and urged people to stand up, get involved, and be counted.

The proposed San Diego County Ordinance and the community’s response was the next topic of discussion. We went over in detail the points which are illegal and unnecessary in the ordinance that were taken from the ASA, ACLU, and DPA reactions to the proposed ordinance:

• Police Department / Sheriff should not regulate collectives.
• Unreasonable buffer zones are not necessary.
• Patient Privacy Must Be protected.
• Ban on cannabis infused foods (edibles)
• Narrows and changes definition of qualified patient

Finally, we heard from Attorney at Law Bahar Ansari, who discussed the Jury instruction used in my case (People v. Davidovich) as well as a few highlights from the trial. Ms. Ansari can be contacted at: 619-787-0604

Here are some events coming up in the next couple week:

• 4/16 – North County ASA Meeting
         - 950 E. Vista Way Ste. A2 - Vista, Ca 92084
• 4/19 - DAY OF ACTION
          - 9:30am Joseph Nunes Sentencing – Federal Courthouse 940 Front St.
          - 12-2pm – Protest against DEA Raids – Federal Courthouse 940 Front St.
• 4/20 - ExtravaGanja MMJ Comedy Show
          - La Jolla Comedy Store – 916 Pearl St 92037
          - $10 tickets, 21+, 2 drink min.
• 4/26 – James Stacy Federal Medical Marijuana Trial
          - 9:00am 940 Front St.

Thank you to everyone for coming to the meeting and for being patient. Next Month San Diego ASA meeting will be held on May 11, location to be announced soon!

San Diego Americans for Safe

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1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting

To see all the San Diego ASA News Briefs visit: