COURT SUPPORT Joseph Malone AUGUST 20 – Victim of Operation Green Rx

defaultJoseph Malone speaks at County Board

Hello my name is Joseph Malone and I would like to share my story with you as well as ask for Court Support on August 20th, 2009.

In late March of 2008 I consulted with a San Diego attorney to discus the laws, policies, and procedures to operating a legal (under state law) medical marijuana dispensary.

On April 2nd 2009 I went to the San Diego Board of Equalization (BOE) to apply for a sellers permit (for dispensing medical marijuana to qualified San Diego residents/patients requesting help to obtain medical marijuana).

After filling out my application I was directed to BOE agent Mr. Pagan. Mr. Pagan reviewed my application and stated to me “you will need to call San Diego PD Vice Department to be sure you are in compliance with state and local laws.”(regarding dispensaries) Mr. Pagan called directly to the SDPD Vice Department from his desk. He listened in as I asked if I would be violating any state or local laws/ordinances. The SDPD Vice officer stated to me “we are no longer policing medical marijuana there is no longer a medical marijuana task force”. After confirming I would not be in violation Mr. Pagan then proceeded to issue a temporary sellers permit as well as a temporary conditional use permit.

Mr. Pagan then directed me to follow through with the next step which would be applying for a business license at San Diego treasury office. Following advice of the BOE agent that was same advice I received from my attorney, I went to the treasury office and filled out a business tax application.

The business tax application required I list all business activity so zoning can properly review application. I list business activity as ” I will be dispensing amounts less than 28 grams of medical marijuana to members requesting my help as a care giver to obtain their medical marijuana or medical marijuana edibles”. I paid fees and was issued a temporary business license. I questioned the agent at the treasury office about my application. “Do I need to contact the police deptartment, or any other law enforcement offices?” I asked. I was told “No. My application would be sent for review by zoning and that they would notify me if there were any other issues.”

After about 2 weeks I received via US mail my official business license and sellers permit as well as conditional use permit (from BOE). On April 20th 2008 (yes that is 4-20) Safe California Access opened its doors to the medical marijuana community of San Diego believing we were complying with both local and state laws regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.

Soon after I was told by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) directly that they were not issuing applications or accepting them for their medical marijuana program. I made e-mail attempts to request help from Mr. Ed Plank of the San Diego Mayors Office with applications for state ID cards for myself and Safe California Access Members. I also offered the mayor’s office my help and the help of Safe California Access members to donate funds or equipment needed to help implement an ID card system in San Diego. An ID card system that would help begin to develop an open honest communication with law enforcement, the district attorneys office, and CDHS. To develop a stronger evaluation process for medical marijuana patients and to help create a safer environment for all.

Now we jump forward to July 23rd 2008 when an undercover San Diego police officer came to Safe California Access (after going to another dispensary that he received complaints about, which posted a sign “Closed for remodeling. Go see Joseph at Safe California Access.”) The officer did just that. He came posing as a qualified medical marijuana patient who needed help obtaining some medicine. After calling to verify this individual’s recommendation (that was valid according to Doctor’s receptionist) the officer filled out a caregiver consent form which designated Safe California Access as his primary caregiver.

Once the file was created to keep the patient’s information and copies of his recommendation and driver license, the patient (officer) indicated he would like to obtain some medical marijuana to relieve his pain. I then allowed this patient into a secure locked medicine room (members only allowed). He requested one half ounce of medicine I charged the officer $200.00 plus the $15.50 State sales tax for a total of $215.50.

After helping this officer, whom I believed was requesting my assistance to obtain medicine recommended by his doctor, he requested a search warrant and was granted one by a local judge using words like “drug dealer, profit, illegal, and federal law”. On August 5th 2008 I was served a search warrant at 3914 Murphy Canyon Road. SDPD officers arrested me and charged me with “possession with intent to sell.”

My trial is set for August 20th 2009.

I am currently representing myself in this case. Joseph Malone.



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