Opening Statements Begin, Security Measures Upgraded at Jackson Medical Marijuana Trial

By: Eugene Davidovich

SAN DIEGO – If you thought intimidation couldn’t get any worse in the San Diego State Courts, think again. This morning Department 15 as per the new demands of the San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, was outfitted with additional security measures. While walking up to the courtroom this morning a congregation of bailiffs could be seen outside and a giant walk through metal detector erected along with a 3’x4’ sign displaying the warning “ALL PERSONS SUBJECT TO SEARCH”.

“This monstrosity is clearly over the top”, Terrie Best member of San Diego Americans for Safe Access stated this morning while outside of court. “It is nothing more than then prosecutor’s Jury Intimidation Machine”.

The proceedings began this morning with Judge Shore instructing the jurors on rules of the court. The Judge focused special attention on admonishing the Jurors to immediately report to the court all attempts made by anyone to influence or talk to them. The Judge even focused his attention on the public and stated that it was a crime to tamper with the Jury and that anyone caught attempting to do so, would be severely punished.

While this order was being read, Paul Levikow, Dumanis’ head of Public Relations who was sitting in the front row behind the prosecution, turned around in his chair, and also focused his attention on the supporters. He began to nod his head as the Judge was speaking and continued to give the supporters a long and intimidating stare, clearly trying to instill fear and discourage the public from attending the trial.

Following this clear show of force and intimidation, Chris Lindbergh began his opening statements, in which he claimed that Mr. Jackson was operating a store that would sell marijuana to anyone that came in. A claim completely false and against the evidence that shows that all 1600 members of the Answerdam collective were legitimate patients.

After the DA’s opening statements, the Jury was asked to step into the courtroom next door (a second courtroom commissioned specifically for this trial) while a 402 hearing could be held to determine if Detective Carlson, the investigating officer in the case, was qualified to testify during the trial.

After the Jurors left the courtroom, Detective Mark Andrew Carlson got on the stand, and claimed to be an expert in the medical use of cannabis. He testified that an eight hour narcotics class administered by the California Narcotic Officers Association about how marijuana was not a medicine, made him a medical expert in the field.

The Judge agreed and to the objections of the defense, Carlson was qualified as an expert and allowed to testify in front of the Jury.

The Jurors were let back into the courtroom, and Carlson took the stand as a medical expert. Among many misleading and false statements that Carlson made on the stand, Carlson claimed that the marijuana found at Answerdam was definitely not in compliance with state law and was clearly not for medical use.

At noon, the court took its lunch recess with the proceedings resuming at 1:30 in the afternoon when Carlson is expected to be back on the stand for defense cross examination.

“They will not scare the public away. We will continue to support Mr. Jackson and his fight for our rights” stated Terrie Best while leaving the courthouse for the lunch recess.

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

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