Thursday, March 17, 2011

Superior Court Judge Allows Dispensary to Remain Open; Denies City of San Marcos Emergency Injunction

By Eugene Davidovich, San Diego ASA

SAN MARCOS – In a major victory for medical marijuana advocates across the state, San Diego Superior Court Judge Thomas Nugent on Thursday morning denied the City of San Marcos a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Wellness Tree collective, allowing the medical marijuana dispensary to remain open.

In 2006, when the city adopted an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in all zones, they specifically instructed the business tax office not to issue permits for such use and have denied all applications since.

The TRO filed by the City Attorney’s Office on Thursday named not just the Wellness Tree Collective, but also individual directors, and the landlord, demanding emergency relief through a restraining order, a preliminary and permanent injunction, declaratory relief, and damages.

This blatant attempt to shut down the remaining access in that city is very much in line with their bias driven agenda to undermine state law on this issue and is clearly against the desire and will of the residents who overwhelmingly oppose the city’s ordinance and these actions against the dispensaries.

Representing the collective in court were attorneys John Murphy who argued against the restraining order and cited the City’s ordinance did not provide the ability for anyone to obtain a business license to operate a dispensary, making it an outright ban. Murphy who works closely with Anthony Curiale the lead attorney in the highly publicized Anaheim case was accompanied in court by Melissa Bobrow who represented the landlord of the property where the dispensary is located.

During Thursday’s hearing the City Attorney argued the dispensary was operating illegally because it failed to obtain a business license, Judge Nugent disagreed, he explained that he saw absolutely no emergency in this matter and denied the TRO as well as pointed out that even if the dispensary had applied for a business license, they would not have received one.

After the hearing Attorney John Murphy said “The ordinance in the City of San Marcos is fatal and it violates the very terms of the Compassionate Use Act and the associated Health and Safety Codes by banning a patient’s right to collectively cultivate anywhere in San Marcos”.

While the City of San Marcos claims the ban is simply their way of ‘regulating’ dispensaries; advocates, patients, and concerned citizens alike have called it unconstitutional and a slap in the face of California voters who overwhelmingly passed Proposition 215 in 1996.

The Wellness Tree case is the first time a San Diego Superior Court Judge ruled against the City of San Marcos on this issue and also appears to be the first time the legality of the San Marcos Ban will be challenged in court.

On Jun 3rd instead of revising their unconstitutional ordinance, the San Marcos City Attorney’s Office will resume their eradication effort in court yet again trying to convince Judge Nugent that regulation really does mean eradication.

The hearing will be held in the Vista Courthouse at 1:30pm in Department M30 on Jun 3rd, 2011.

San Marcos City Council

Hal Martin

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

City to Close all Medical Marijuana Dispensaries; Opposition Mounts

On March 28th at 2pm the San Diego City Council will be voting on an ordinance that, if approved as currently written, would close every medical cannabis facility in the city and make it virtually impossible for them to reopen, threatening the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and denying safe access for thousands of patients in the City of San Diego.

Led by San Diego Americans for Safe Access and Canvass for a Cause, over twenty local, state, and national organizations have come together in opposition to this ordinance as currently written.

The “Stop the Ban” coalition campaign has been educating the public on the upcoming ordinance and encouraging them to write hand written letters to the city council urging them to amend the proposed ordinance and to approve an ordinance that guarantees safe access and reflects the needs of the community.

With the help and support of coalition partners the ‘Stop the Ban’ campaign has collected over 2,100 letters to the city council making it the largest letter writing campaign in San Diego history, has been profiled in CityBeat and covered by Fox 5 and CW 6,and has received endorsements from some of the largest clergy, drug policy reform, and student groups in the state - making it the largest public mobilization on behalf of medical cannabis in San Diego's history. 

With less than two weeks left before the vote, the campaign has brought on extra volunteers who will supplement the ongoing effort in every district within the city. 

“If this ordinance passes as currently written, crime will increase and the economy will suffer”. Ben Cisneros a Senior Organizer with the campaign stated. “By shutting down all access in the city, the veterans, families of patients, and the sick and dying would be terribly impacted”. 

The campaign will be holding a Press Conference followed by a Candlelight Vigil on March 25th at 6:30pm at the Veterans Memorial Garden located at 2115 Park Blvd San Diego CA 92101

The following Monday on March 28th there will be a rally of hundreds of patients and concerned citizens voicing their concern against this ordinance. The rally will start at the Federal Courthouse located at 940 Front St. San Diego CA, 92101 at 12noon and will end at the San Diego City Hall at 202 C St. at 1:30pm where everyone will go up to the City Council Meeting to speak against the proposed ordinance at 2pm. 

Further Information:

Campaign Website: and

San Diego CityBeat Coverage:

OB Rag Coverage:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bonnie Dumanis for San Diego Mayor? Take Action Against Dumanis Today!

There are many patients and concerned citizens in the San Diego community who have witnessed firsthand DA Bonnie Dumanis' fierce and misguided fight against medical marijuana patients.

In response to her bid for Mayor of San Diego in 2012, many in San Diego have quickly united in opposition. The medical marijuana community sent a strong message to all supporters regarding Dumanis’ track record on the issue through social media and the internet. Most recently the ‘Dumanis Propaganda Machine’ began turning its wheels and producing misleading information about her record on the medical marijuana issue.

Dumanis has begun to recycle her old rhetoric claiming she in fact supports medical marijuana and that it is all the collectives that break the law because they are ‘selling’ marijuana. Dumanis is prepared to spend thousands of dollars on her propaganda war.

We urgently need your help to quickly mobilize opposition to the propaganda which will be put out from the Dumanis campaign in the coming weeks by helping us disseminate Dumanis true position and track record on the issue.

Take Action Against Bonnie Dumanis Today!
1. Post a negative review for Bonnie Dumanis on Yelp

2. Join the NOT DUMANIS campaign on Facebook.

Top three reasons why Dumanis is bad for San Diego compiled from dozens of responses from residents in the city of San Diego:

1. Dumanis is bad for our Community’s Safety and Welfare
Failed to protect victims' rights and has advanced her political agenda instead.

2. Dumanis is Bad for Marriage Equality
As District Attorney Dumanis has turned her back on the LGBT community by supporting anti-gay candidates and refusing to help defeat Proposition 8.

3. Dumanis is Bad for Medical Marijuana
Continues to wage a 'fierce fight' against medical marijuana patients and the protections created in the law for the sick and dying, while at the same time claiming to be for the issue.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bonnie Dumanis Mayoral Candidacy Statement of Opposition from San Diego Americans for Safe Access

In response to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ announcement to run for San Diego Mayor in 2012, the local chapter of the nation’s largest medical cannabis patient’s rights advocacy group (Americans for Safe Access), joined a growing list of organizations opposed to her candidacy and issued the following statement:

In her service as the District Attorney for San Diego County, Dumanis has undermined the most vulnerable members of our community through her continued and misguided ‘fierce fight’ against medical marijuana. 

Her fight has included raids on dispensaries as well as sick and dying patients’ homes, resulting in hundreds of thousands of tax payer’s dollars wasted on failed prosecutions. Dumanis has actively lobbied local governments for bans on dispensaries and has successfully influenced the County Board of Supervisors to adopt one of the most restrictive ordinances in the state.

Although Dumanis years ago ran on a platform for District Attorney in favor of medical marijuana her actions and track record since being elected almost a decade ago make clear that she continues to be an enemy to the medical marijuana community and those who use cannabis therapeutics for treatment.

We are strongly opposed to Dumanis for San Diego Mayor in 2012 and will work to oppose her continued oppression of the most vulnerable among us.

Visit NOT DUMANIS to voice your opposition to Bonnie Dumanis as Mayor of San Diego in 2012.

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Harassment of Medical Marijuana Patients in San Diego Continues

Rogue Code Enforcement Officer Peter Bedrosian intimidates, harasses, and questions visibly ill patient in the streets of East San Diego County

By: Eugene Davidovich

SAN DIEGO – For years the county’s sick and dying have been at the brunt of District Attorney Bonnie (DA) Dumanis’ ‘fierce fight’ against medical marijuana patients. Dumanis’ fight has included raids on dispensaries, arrests of wheel-chair bound and terminally-ill patients, and has resulted in courtroom acquittals rather than convictions costing the county thousands and serious embarrassment to law enforcement.

In June of 2010, Dumanis managed to convince the County Board of Supervisors, a governing body historically opposed to medical marijuana, to adopt an ordinance which forced all dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county to shut down.

Since then, a few brave safe access pioneers, determined to provide the sick and dying with quality care, remained open and began to challenge the “de-facto” ban in court. With court challenges ramping up, under the direction of Top Cop, Dumanis, the Sheriff and Code Enforcement have launched a harassment campaign against the remaining care facilities.

The latest and most egregious example surfaced last month when Code Enforcement Officer Peter Bedrosian busily harassed and interrogated patients outside a remaining facility in the East County of San Diego and came across Vey Linville, a very active advocate, terminally ill patient, and member of the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access.

Below is an account of Mr. Linville’s encounter with Bedrosian as well as my attempt to clarify the departmental policy with regards to code enforcement encounters with patients.

After Mr. Linville contacted San Diego ASA and reported the incident, I was assigned to investigation. The goal was to determine the Sheriff Department’s and Code Enforcement policies on their interactions with patients as well as voice San Diego ASA’s concern for the incident.

I first called Mr. Bedrosian. When he answered his phone, I introduced myself and began to express my concern regarding his interaction with Mr. Linville was going to asked him for clarification on the department’s policy. After hearing who I was and why I was calling, a very angry Bedrosian began shouting into the telephone then, finishing his rant, he hung up. Shortly after his episode, Bedrosian called back with another ranting voicemail, this time complete with threats and intimidating statements which appeared designed to scare me into silence.

Following this call I wrote an email and left a voicemail for Assistant Sheriff Prendergast, the official spokesperson for the Sheriff on medical marijuana issues in the hopes of a response. In the email, I inquired about the policy as well as whether a departmental training program was in place for field code enforcement officers in those sensitive interactions. In the email, which I carbon copied Bedrosian on, I included Mr. Linville’s letter.

Around that same time, Mr. Linville personally hand delivered the letter to Assistant Sheriff Prendergast’s office. Mr. Linville’s letter as well as my email and calls, remain unanswered.
Here is the full content of the letter sent by Mr. Linville to Assistant Sheriff Prendergast which Mr. Linville has agreed to share with us for this article:
Assistant Sheriff Prendergast,
My name is Vey Linville. We met recently at the County Board of Supervisors meeting. I am an emphysema patient with an oxygen tank. I legally drink cannabis medicines to keep from suffocating. I thought you might perhaps remember me. I have been in the press and on TV several times recently regarding this issue, and I am an active and vocal member of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutics and research.
On Thursday February 17, 2011, I was delivering political event flyers to various facilities in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. It was approximately 1 p.m., I was dressed in a business suit and tie, and I was encumbered as usual with my oxygen tank.
On exiting XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX on  xxxxx . in xxxxxxxxx, as I approached my vehicle, I was detained, interrogated, and harassed with no cause by a County Code Enforcement team, led by Peter Bedrosian, Code Enforcement Officer, Dept. of Planning and Land Use, (858-694-3047,
Mr. Bedrosian identified himself and asked me in an aggressive and forceful manner who I was and what I was doing there. As a legal patient on life support with an illness considered terminal, I was quite intimidated by his aggressive demeanor, tone, and line of questioning; but I offered my hand and introduced myself and told him that I was there representing the San Diego Chapter of Americans For Safe Access and that I was dropping off brochures. This seemed to greatly agitate Mr. Bedrosian. He said: “Brochures, Eh?”, crossed his arms and proceeded to interrogate me in the parking lot.
He wanted to know if “The Facility” was still “Operating” inside. I explained to him that since I was just dropping off flyers, that I had not been past the front waiting area today; and that I could not say of my own knowledge what activities may or may not be occurring inside. I also explained to him that I had been to this facility before, and that I was not aware of any conduct by this facility not in fullest and strictest compliance with all state laws and local ordinances that I am aware of.
This seemed to cause Mr. Bedrosian great distress, and his level of agitation continued to increase. By this point, the other member of the Code Enforcement Team was trying to tell Mr. Bedrosian privately that he had seen me speak at the Planning Commission, and he seemed to be trying quite hard to get Mr. Bedrosian to calm down and disengage from this encounter.
At this point, Mr. Bedrosian took a couple of deep breaths and tried to put a good face on the above by explaining to me in a calmer tone and a forced smile that they had no problem with this facility continuing to operate, but that the issue was one of location. He told me that there were parcels in Spring Valley that were zoned for this, and that it would be fine for the facility to move to one of them.
I told Mr. Bedrosian calmly that I was a resident of Spring Valley, and that I was quite aware of the two parcels that he was referring to. I explained that my mobility is limited, and that I have many patients as friends who are far more disabled than I, in wheelchairs and on dialysis. I explained to him that a rock quarry and a radiation disposal area, without buildings, utilities, or improvements were not my idea of Safe Access; and that I did not think that was what the voters of California had in mind, or the framers of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
That is when I realized that this was an issue that Mr. Bedrosian is clearly taking very personally. He became even more angry and frustrated, and the other team member was forced to pull him away by the arm; and they left. I was afraid that Mr. Bedrosian’s clear personal bias on this political issue would result in attempted law enforcement action against me, because of my legal patient status, my political activities, and by simply being near that facility at that time.
Apparently this facility has a number of recorded video cameras, including one covering the front outside area; and a member inside had watched this Code Enforcement “Terminal Patient Encounter” unfold. This member came outside to see if I had been harmed, and to assist me with my oxygen tank and offer me water or whatever aid I might need. Before leaving the parking lot, I contacted Eugene Davidovich the San Diego Area Liaison for Americans for Safe Access and notified him of the incident.
It is my understanding that you personally have always treated the medical marijuana community and members of Americans for Safe Access in a fair, balanced and honorable way; and my recent meeting with you bears this out. I know as well that you have served with the highest valor in the field. I must therefore share with you one more item of the gravest concern. Yesterday I was told by members of the community that Mr. Bedrosian has had a number of other highly negative “Patient Encounters” of the worst kind.
It is my understanding that the purview of a Code Enforcement Officer is rather narrow.
It is my sincere hope that in the future, legal patients going about their lawful occasions in San Diego County will not be harassed in the street by County Code Enforcement Officers who may be personally uncomfortable with existing California State Law and political activity by legal patients, and are unable to exercise reasonable discretion thereby.
I must also encourage public policy discussion on this issue. It directly affects patients Quality Of Life, and intimidation of this type can keep the sick and dying from obtaining their life-saving medicine in San Diego County. I encourage you to work with Eugene Davidovich and other members of Americans for Safe Access to implement a policy for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department that would address these types of interactions with the sick and dying in the County of San Diego.
I understand that your people have a job to do. This just isn’t it.
Thank you Sir, Vey Linville
Why has the county taken such a harsh stance on this issue considering that the latest field polls show 80% of registered voters in the County of San Diego support medical marijuana?

The lack of response from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and Code Enforcement suggests that there is a serious disconnect between the will and needs of the residents of the county and their elected representatives. This disconnect gravely concerns the community which overwhelmingly supports the Compassionate Use Act and the fair treatment of sick and dying patients.

In Bedrosian’s case, his personal views against medical marijuana patients have clearly influenced his work, he now as a part of his job feels he has a right to target sick people who are exercising their right to free speech, under the guise of code enforcement.

On-the-job Code Enforcement officers like Peter Bedrosian and other law enforcement officials should keep their personal and political beliefs from spilling these views into a vitriol of hatred of patients.

It is time the San Diego Community stood up against this unfair treatment of patients and demanded accountability. I encourage you to contact the San Diego County’s Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board and file a complaint urging them to investigate the treatment of patients by Code Enforcement as well as other law enforcement officials in San Diego County.

Our most vulnerable residents deserve respect and a policy that takes into account their needs.

Download Instructions and form to file a complaint with the County’s Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board:

For questions and tips contact:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Citizens Unite in Opposition to Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance

Citizens Unite in Opposition to Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance

Opposition mounts against proposed medical marijuana dispensary regulation for the City of San Diego. Over twenty local and national organizations join campaign opposing the ordinance and urging changes.

On March 28th the San Diego City Council will be voting on an ordinance that will serve as a de-facto ban on medical cannabis facilities in the City of San Diego. If passed as currently written, this unduly restrictive ordinance would threaten the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and would deny safe access for thousands of patients in the city.

In order to oppose the ordinance Canvass for a Cause and the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access have launched a coalition campaign to educate the public of the impending ban and mobilize grassroots opposition to the ban.

In the last three weeks the campaign has generated over 1,500 letters of opposition from constituents in the City of San Diego and has brought together a coalition of over twenty local and national organizations united in opposition to this ordinance!
The campaign has mobilized hundreds of patients and concerned citizens by organizing the medical cannabis facilities, employing well trained professional canvassers, and leading a traditional volunteer driven political effort giving the people a unique opportunity to voice their opposition to this ban.

Our campaign is educating the public to generate massive quantities of constituents’ communications to the city council members, urging them to amend the ordinance and approve an ordinance that guarantees safe access and reflects the needs of the community.

The campaign will be holding a rally on the 28th of March! The rally will start at the Federal Courthouse located at 940 Front St. San Diego CA, 92101 at 12noon and will end at the San Diego City Hall at 202 C St. at 1:30pm when everyone will go up to the City Council Meeting to speak against the proposed ordinance at 2pm.

We need your help to make the campaign a success, for volunteer opportunities, please email

Visit the official campaign website for more information: |

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Get Involved, get active, make a difference!

1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting

To see all the San Diego ASA News Briefs visit: