Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Launches Week of Medical Marijuana Defendant Court Support

Patient advocates take action against District Attorney and Mayor hopeful, Bonnie Dumanis’ fierce fight against patients’ rights to grow and use medical marijuana

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (SDASA) – the country’s largest grassroots medical marijuana advocacy group – urges its members to bear witness in criminal court this week as two legitimate medical marijuana patients – who sought only to grow medical marijuana in a small group – defend themselves against Bonnie Dumanis’ flip flop interpretation of medical marijuana laws.

In two different courtrooms in two different trials the DA’s office will attempt to demonstrate that simply growing medical marijuana for personal use is indicia of sales, profit and thus violates the law.

Bonnie Dumanis’ office steadfastly maintains that storefronts and delivery services are not legal. According to the DA, in order to be in compliance with California medical marijuana laws one must grow medical marijuana individually or, if in a group, share in the expense and medicine together. Further, her office has raised this group farm model in court as the only lawful scenario for complying with Proposition 215, the 1996 voter initiative which provided a defense for the growing and use of medical marijuana and SB420, in which lawmakers provided clarity on the distribution of medical marijuana missing from the voters initiative.

San Diego prosecutors’ courtroom strategy, until now, has been to demonstrate the group farm example to jurors as the lawful alternative to storefront collectives. In fact the details of the two criminal cases going before jury this week are much like what jurors heard Prosecutor Chris Lindberg point out as lawful in People v. Jovan Jackson, a storefront collective case now on appeal.

With the federal crackdown and closure of many storefronts, patients are left vulnerable.

If patients are seeking to grow their own medicine as is being suggested by all branches of law enforcement, San Diego Americans for Safe Access calls for patients and their advocates to attend court and re-educate themselves on Bonnie Dumanis mercurial interpretation of medical marijuana laws as it applies to simple cultivation. Patients are entitled to know how to lawfully obtain the medicine for the conditions which they suffer and the DA’s office is changing the rules as it suits her.

Jason Gastrich’s criminal proceedings begin at 9:00 AM with a courtroom assignment out of Department 11 of the San Diego Superior Courthouse on Monday, January 9, 2012.

Benjamin Gasper’s criminal proceedings begin at 9:00AM with a courtroom assignment out of Department 11 of the San Diego Superior Courthouse on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.

Further information:
Articles about Jason Gastrich:
Articles about Benjamin Gasper:

Further information contact: Terrie Best, SDASA Court Support Coordinator –
T: 619-651-0706

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