Jovan Jackson Trial UPDATE – Day 7

By: Eugene Davidovich
11/25/09, 3:50pm

This afternoon marks day 7 of the Medical Marijuana Trial of Jovan Jackson and the defenses turn to present evidence and witnesses to the Jury. The morning began with the testimony from James Pitts, a San Diego Deputy District Attorney and member of the Answerdam Collective. His testimony was brief and uneventful, much like last time he confirmed that he did visit Answerdam, had completed a membership agreement thereby joining the collective, and that he had obtained medical cannabis from Answerdam. Most of everything else that he was asked, he could not recall.

Following his testimony, the jury heard from expert witness Bill Brit, who discussed details on yields and dosages of medical cannabis, as well as the costs and effort associated with cultivation. Mr. Britt estimated that five pounds of medical cannabis for a collective which had approximately 1600 members was a low amount of medicine to have on hand. He also testified that it requires both experience and expertise to produce quality high grade medical cannabis.

Mr. Britt’s testimony was followed by testimony from another patient of Answerdam who spoke of the collectives professional appearance and quality of medication. He also discussed how much relief the medication provided from the severe chronic pain that he deals with.

Today we also heard from a San Diego anesthesiologist, Dr. Clark who now specializes in evaluating patients for the purposes of determining whether medical cannabis would be beneficial to the treatment of their symptoms. Dr Clark described the exams he conducts as well as the procedures involved with determining whether a patients is qualified to receive a recommendation for the use of medical cannabis. He also discussed his training and experience as a medical doctor and anesthesiologist.

Dr. Clark was asked if he had seen a patient by the name of Jamie Conlan. After raising a concern about patient confidentiality, Dr. Clark having been ordered by the judge to disclose the information, went on to describe his interaction with this patient. In May of last year, Dr. Clark recalled, a man by the name of Jamie Conlan coming to his office and complaining of severe anxiety and insomnia. Mr. Conlan presented a valid California Drivers License as proof of his identity. After asking questions about Jamie Conlan’s medical history, as well as reviewing the forms Mr. Conlan completed prior to the visit, Dr. Clark learned that this patient had used cannabis to treat his symptoms for years prior to that day and that Jamie found tremendous relief from its use. In accordance with State Law Dr. Clark recommended the use of medical cannabis to Jamie Conlan.

Dr. Clark went on to talk about the fact that some time later he learned that this was an undercover officer who had lied to him about his identity and that the real name of this individual was Detective Scott Henderson of the San Diego Regional Narcotics Task Force.

In light of the Thanksgiving holiday, Judge Bashant decided to dismiss the jury early. At 11:30am the twelve jurors and one alternate were dismissed for the week. Both the defense and prosecution stayed behind to discuss briefly the jury instruction as well as a few other administrative matters.

The trial is set to continue on Monday November 30th at 9:00am in Department 33. It is expected that both sides will rest that day and that the jury will begin deliberations on Monday afternoon.

Although much prejudice was introduced by the prosecution into the trial, it would appear that for the first time out of all the arrest in the last three rounds of raids by the DA, this will be the first case where the jury will get to actually consider both the medical marijuana defense as well as the collective cooperative defense. The future of medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives in San Diego hinges on this case and a few others currently working their way through the courts.

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