Thursday, December 9, 2010

SD ASA Holiday Party Dec 15 Portugalia Restaurant

Mark your calendars and get ready to have a great time, and make a significant difference in our community in San Diego this holiday season.

San Diego ASA has teamed up with a number of amazing organizations in town to bring you this year’s Holiday Party!

The party will be held on Wednesday December 15th 2010 form 6:30pm -9:30pm at the Portugalia Restaurant located in Ocean Beach, CA (4839 Newport Avenue San Diego, CA)

The night will be filled with Karaoke Caroling, Food, Laughter and Cheer!

WHAT: San Diego ASA Annual Holiday Party
WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 – 6:30pm-9:30pm
WHERE: Portugalia Restaurant 4839 Newport Ave SD, CA

Please bring a toy you wish you had gotten as a child for our community toy drive. This year we have teamed up with The Green Door Collective who will be bringing out the Toys for Tots Marines at 6:30pm to the restaurant to collect toys. The Green Door conducted a toy drive last year at their collective which was able to collect hundreds of toys and helped bring a positive light to our community.

$10 at the door / For more information please visit

This event is proudly brought to you by: San Diego ASA, Legal Cannabis Institute, The Green Door Collective, Law Offices of Kimberly R. Simms, Association of Clinical Dispensaries, KUSH Magazine, NUG Magazine, Proteus 420, The Women of Marijuana, and The Law Offices of Melissa Bobrow, and many others!

Get Involved, get active, make a difference!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Medical Marijuana Patient Advocates Fight for New Trial in San Diego Dispensary Case

For Immediate Release: December 7th, 2010

Medical Marijuana Patient Advocates Fight for New Trial in San Diego Dispensary Case

District attorney & court use double jeopardy, deny defense to unfairly convict dispensary operator

San Diego, CA -- Medical marijuana patient advocates filed a motion for a new trial today in the case of Jovan Jackson, who was convicted on September 28th after he was tried for the second time in less than a year on the same charges of marijuana possession and sales. After District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis failed to convict Jackson the first time, she was able to block his use of a medical marijuana defense at the second trial, virtually guaranteeing his conviction. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group, argues in its motion that double jeopardy and the denial of a defense was used to unfairly convict Jackson. The motion for a new trial will be heard at Jackson's sentencing hearing, currently scheduled for December 15th at 9am before Judge Howard H. Shore.

"Embarrassed by her earlier loss and desperate for a conviction, District Attorney Dumanis manipulated the criminal justice system to unfairly try Jackson a second time," said Joe Elford, ASA Chief Counsel, and the attorney who filed Jackson's motion for a new trial. "To make matters worse, the court deprived Jackson of the defense that was used to gain an acquittal in his first trial, and a defense to which he's entitled." In December of 2009, Jackson was acquitted by a jury of marijuana possession and sales charges stemming from a 2008 arrest. By denying Jackson a medical marijuana collective defense at his second trial, the court virtually assured his conviction.

For years Jackson had operated his San Diego medical marijuana dispensary, Answerdam Alternative Care Collective, before being raided in September 2009 by a multi-agency task force dubbed "Operation Green Rx." Although more than 60 people were arrested in several raids coordinated by Dumanis in collaboration with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Jackson was one of only two defendants Dumanis chose to prosecute in state court. The case against the other defendant, Eugene Davidovich, resulted in a jury acquittal of similar charges earlier this year.

Much of the opposition to local distribution from Dumanis and other detractors like Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who recently lost his bid for Attorney General, is based on an interpretation which holds that patients cannot use money to obtain their medical marijuana, or that "sales" are somehow illegal under state law. This interpretation that patients must take part in the cultivation, must "till the soil," is strenuously held by a few rogue officials despite guidelines issued in 2008 by the California Attorney General's office and legal case law to the contrary. In Jackson's case, the court held that the dispensary operator must cultivate the marijuana sold by the dispensary.

"Jackson should not have been denied a defense and should not be used as a scapegoat for the District Attorney's misguided position that medical marijuana sales are illegal," said Eugene Davidovich, who also heads the San Diego chapter of ASA. In an effort to keep medical marijuana out of Jackson's second trial, Judge Shore ordered people in the audience to remove articles of clothing that displayed an Americans for Safe Access logo, including tote bags carried into the courtroom.

Notably, the San Diego City Council has been working for more than a year on a local medical marijuana distribution law, which would regulate the same activity for which Jackson was convicted. A San Diego grand jury issued recommendations in June calling on city and county governments to implement the state's medical marijuana law. In particular, the grand jury urged development of a "program for the licensing, regulation and periodic inspection of authorized collectives and cooperatives distributing medical marijuana."

Further information:
Jackson's motion for a new trial filed by ASA:
San Diego grand jury recommendations on medical marijuana:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Judge Grants Emergency Injunction against St. Bernard’s Provisions San Marcos Medical Marijuana Collective

By: Eugene Davidovich

SAN MARCOS – On Friday of this week, San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Dahlquist granted an emergency injunction against St. Bernard’s Provisions medical marijuana collective located in the City of San Marcos in San Diego County forcing the collective to close its doors.

Despite numerous demands by patients, advocates, and concerned citizens, the City of San Marcos has refused to accept Proposition 215 as law and is engaged in a medical marijuana eradication campaign.

In 2006 the San Marcos City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries in all zones within the city’s jurisdictional limits and specifically instructed the city’s business tax office not issue permits conditional or otherwise for such use.

Advocates, patients, and concerned citizens alike have called the San Marcos Ban unconstitutional and a slap in the face of California voters who overwhelmingly passed Proposition 215 in 1996. Since 1996 support for medical marijuana across California has continued to grow with the most recent polls showing over 70% of Californian’s in support of medical use.

To date this patient eradication campaign has cost the city millions of dollars and has included criminal and civil action against legitimate patients. The latest example in the city’s spending furry is the filing of this restraining order and demand for an “Emergency Injunction” against St. Bernard’s Provisions.

Just in the last couple months the City of San Marcos has spent several hundred thousand dollars on this effort with the cases against MMSC, Inc., and now St. Bernard’s Provisions.

On Friday December 3, members of St. Bernard’s collective were in court for a hearing on the City’s emergency injunction. The courtroom was full with over a dozen supporters, patients, and members of Americans for Safe Access, who took time on a weekday afternoon to show up in support of St. Bernards and against the injunction and illegal ban.

The hearing was scheduled to begin at 2:30 but got underway an hour late. Jeffery Lake of Lake APC, a local medical marijuana law firm which specializes in assisting patients in navigating the state’s medical marijuana laws represented St. Bernard’s Provisions that day.

The hearing began with the Judge going over the city’s complaint. The city was claiming that because St. Bernard’s business license application stated the collective provided “medical provision” rather than “medical marijuana” it was violation of the city’s code. The Judge failed to recognize or even discuss the fact that the city specifically instructed its business license office to deny all applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Mr. Lake explained to the Judge that the collective was truthful in their application and in fact was providing medical provisions including medical cannabis to patients and that there was already a hearing set for December 9 with the city to determine if medical provisions could include medical marijuana according to the city’s definition.

Lake also argued that the city had failed to prove that this was an emergency. There had not been a single complaint about the facility, there was no detriment or harm caused to anyone from the collective’s existence, and in fact the city’s action in itself was a detriment. Lake argued the injunction would cause harm to patients, the landlord, and others in the community who directly benefit from safe and reliable access that St. Bernard’s Provisions brought to San Marcos.

The City Attorney hardly spoke at all as she could tell that Judge Dahlquist had made up his mind about the hearing long before it began.
Judge Dahlquist concluded that the collective should have applied for the license as a medical marijuana dispensary and after being denied, should have sued the city for denying it the license intern challenging the city’s ban, rather than “not being truthful in the application”.

In the end after Lake presented countless arguments, facts, and evidence clearly proving there was no justification for the emergency injunction, and that the collective was in fact truthful, Judge Dahlquist still sided with the bias and granted the city’s request forcing the collective to close.

Patients, concerned citizens, and members of the collective alike were disappointed at the decision and vowed to continue the fight for safe access and a reasonable ordinance regulating dispensaries in San Marcos rather than a ban.

1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting

To see all the San Diego ASA News Briefs visit: