Operation Green Rx victim Sebastian Maselli receives order for Return of Property

Eugene Davidovich, Nug Magazine

Sebastian Maselli, a founding member of Healing Dragon Collective, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic back, knee, and joint pain, all as a result of his military service with the US Marine Corps. Sebastian writes “The Marine Corps definitely kept me in good physical shape, but at a cost”.

“While in Iraq, I was exposed to countless dangers and situations no human being should have to encounter. Medical marijuana has helped tremendously with my PTSD and it makes my back and knee pain tolerable”.

Sebastian went on to tell Nug Magazine “I was dealing with combat related injuries and deaths at 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF), as well as injured Marines and their families after they came home. The most important lesson I learned was compassion”.

With the recommendation of his physician, Sebastian has been using medical cannabis to successfully treat his symptoms and help deal with his daily pain.

As a founding member of the collective, he helped operate the non-profit organization in full compliance with state laws. On September 9, 2009 however, he was arrested in front of his wife and child, charged with felony possession of marijuana, subjected to interrogation, and finally thrown in jail, all part of the 9/9/9 Operation Green Rx raids.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ Operation Green Rx is an ongoing effort in which the San Diego County’s Cross Jurisdictional Narcotics Taskforce (NTF) systematically targets, arrests, and raids medical cannabis facilities, doctors and patients. Undercover officers visit local doctors, lie about their symptoms and arm themselves with legitimate recommendations. The under covers then proceed to join local collectives, purchase small amounts of medicine to create a record of “buys” and then subject the members of the collective to a raid.

Sebastian was bailed out by his family shortly after his arrest and when he came to court on the scheduled day a few weeks later, he was handed a letter and told that no charges would be filed at this time. The District Attorney’s office apparently had decided to hold off filing any charges against the 9/9/9 raid victims as they wanted to see how the cases that were already going through the courts from their previous raids would turn out.

Sebastian left the courthouse that day knowing that for the next two years the DA could still press charges against him.

The raid, the fear of prosecutorial discrimination and retribution by the DA, as well as the theft of his property by the NTF, did not deter Sebastian from standing up for his rights.

Sebastian researched the Americans for Safe Access website, where he found sample return of property motions as well as other related information. After a little encouragement and help from friends and family, Sebastian completed the required forms and submitted them to the San Diego Superior Court in Vista, CA.

In January of this year, Sebastian went to court to argue his Return of Property motion. Nug Magazine caught up with Sebastian to find out how the hearing went and whether the return of property motion was granted. Sebastian writes “I am happy to report that my motion was granted by the judge! I have a piece of paper stating: “All property belonging to ‘defendant’ to be returned by 02/08/10”.

By the time February 8 came around, Sebastian had only received his cell phone back. The San Diego DA has refused to return the property stolen from Sebastian, and maintains that they still need the items as part of their investigation.

If it was Sebastian refusing to turn items over in contempt of a court order, surely he would be taken to jail, the DA however must have “special” powers to be above the courts and able to simply brush off a judges order.

All victims of the Operation Green Rx 9/9/9 raids should demand their property returned and San Diego needs to begin holding the responsible people accountable for the continued subversion of state law and persecution of legitimate patients.

Information on the return of property motions can be found on the Americans for Safe Access Website at: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/section.php?id=187
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Eugene Davidovich
T: 619-621-8446
San Diego Americans for Safe Access

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