It’s official – a ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeals unequivocally states that it is not required by law that every member of a collective has to roll up their sleeves, put their fingers in the dirt and sing Kumbaya in order for the collective to operate legally under California law.
This everyone cultivates or else mantra has been preached by the dynamic duo of San Diego’s lesbian District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Los Angeles’s no-one-wants-to-know District Attorney Steve Cooley.
It has always pissed me off that Dumanis has been such a hard-nose on this – marijuana and the LGBT community are in an extremely healthy and beneficial symbiotic relationship and as a member of that community she should know it and be doing everything she can to advance it.
I would truly love to have been a fly on the wall in their offices (and that of Riverside City Attorney Greg Priamos as well) when they learned of this rational and humane ruling. I can just see them now jumping up and down and stomping on the floor and thundering “WE SHALL APPEAL.” I am sure they will continue to deprive school children of after-school arts programs by squandering the public’s money on their reefer madness campaign to overturn Prop. 215.
This not-so-surprising decision came as a result of the trial and conviction of collective operator Jovan Jackson. In that case, Jackson was operating a collective in San Diego which was raided by a Narcotics Task Force team. A year long trial ensued with Jackson eventually being found not guilty. A thoroughly outraged Bonnie Dumanis had the cops raid Jackson’s collective a second time and re-filed all the charges.
Manipulating the court system as only a County District Attorney can, Dumanis was able to get the case before Judge Howard Shore, a staunch opponent of medical marijuana who promptly denied Jackson a medical marijuana defense. With no testimony being presented that Jackson was doing anything legal under state law, the second jury convicted Jackson.
The dynamic Americans for Safe Access took the case up on appeal with their attorney Joe Elford successfully arguing that this was all BS. The result was a unanimous ruling reversing Jackson’s conviction and affirming the common sense that bedridden cancer patients don’t have to dig in the dirt to get their medicine.
In summation, this decision does three things:
1. Guarantees the right to have a medical marijuana defense in state court 2. Patients do not have to participate in the cultivation of marijuana to get some marijuana. 3. Just because a collective has a whole bunch of members (like Harborside’s 100,000+) that doesn’t mean it is operating outside of state law.
Unfortunately Ms. Dumanis doesn’t think the decision applies to her as she orchestrated a raid on a collective in San Diego just a couple hours after the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled against her.
One of the reasons we get people like Ms. Dumanis into office lording over us and threatening us is because too many marijuana consumers, medical and/or recreational, don’t vote. Check out the websites of ASA, DPA, MPP and NORML for information on candidates. And it wouldn’t hurt if you called up some of your local candidates’ offices and ask them just where they stand on issues relating to the medical and recreational uses of marijuana.
So VOTE and get your friends and family members to vote as well. Just be sure and let them know who the candidates are that support us.