Jury is Deliberating in Jovan Jackson MMJ Trial

By: Eugene Davidovich

The courtroom was packed this morning when the prosecution started the day by presenting an additional witness. The property manager for the building in which Answerdam Alternative Care Collective was located was called to the stand. The witness said that there was in fact a collective called Answerdam and that it was located in that building. He was not able to identify Jovan as the sole “Owner” of the facility, as he testified that several people from the collective were around and that he had received phone calls and had interacted with multiple members of the collective.

Following the prosecution’s witness, Mr. Paul Ford a member/patient of Answerdam was asked to testify by the defense. He discussed his condition, his membership in the collective, as well as the fact that the only place he could find a strain that was most effective for his condition was at the Answerdam Collective.

On a previous occasion, San Diego Americans for Safe Access had an opportunity to interview Mr. Ford regarding his condition. Here is what he wrote:

“In March 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. After surgery removing a large tumor and part of my colon I was given both intravenous and oral chemotherapy for six months. I was left with debilitating peripheral neuropathy from these intense chemotherapy treatments. My neurologist indicates my condition has no cure and may worsen. I have considerable numbness and pain in my hands and feet and often my hands will cramp and as a result even menial tasks like dressing become impossible. After reading a study by UC San Diego regarding efficacy of medical cannabis for neuropathy http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v34/n3/abs/npp2008120a.html I decided to try it. It is the only medication that has been effective for both pain control and the cramping and a much better alternative to opiates in terms of both side effects and efficacy. Because of medical cannabis I can function and not become a burden on society. This useful medication should be covered under my health plan.”

Following Mr. Ford’s testimony, the prosecution presented its closing arguments.

It is customary not to object or interrupt the prosecution and the defense when they are presenting the closing arguments, so when the Prosecutor Chris Linbergh presented his closing arguments, the defense did not interrupt or raise any objections. Linberg was allowed to misstate the law, inflame, and lie to the jury by not disclosing the fact that Mr. Pits a member of Answerdam was a Prosecutor in the DA’s office and that in order to be a legal collective everyone had to physically participate in the grow.

Not only was Mr. Pitts a District Attorney who was a patient obtaining cannabis legally from Answerdam, if the Jury follows the prosecution’s theory, then all medical cannabis patients that were members of Answerdam, along with Mr. Pitts, would be guilty of aiding and abetting.

This simple rule of etiquette was not observed by the prosecution. When the defense was presenting their closing arguments, Chris Linbergh interrupted three times. Each time Judge Bashant overruled his objections and forced him to stay quiet.

Through the prosecutions interruptions, objections, and hate the defense was able to close its arguments and reiterate the fact that even though the prosecution believes otherwise, California State Law allows for the use of medical cannabis, and does in fact allow patients to legitimately obtain medical cannabis from a collective without having to garden themselves. The prosecution would have you believe that an elderly grandmother with glaucoma is required to participate in the actual harvesting, growing, etc. in order to legally obtain cannabis.

The defense also reminded the jury that all the “experts” presented to them by the prosecution had no more than one hour of training in their entire careers in medical cannabis, and that this training resulted in their opinion that “It’s all illegal”.

After another round of attacks by the prosecution, the jury was instructed by the Judge on the law and all the other rules related to deliberation. This afternoon at 2:45pm the jury began its deliberations.

For the first time out of all the arrest in Bonnie Dumanis’ Operation Green Rx raids this jury was instructed to consider the fact that Mr. Jackson was a legitimate medical marijuana patients, and that there is an affirmative defense for Collective / Cooperative cultivation.

Let’s hope the jury sees through the prosecutions prejudicial and inflammatory statements and returns with a Not Guilty verdict.

We will continue to keep you updated as the verdict comes out!


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