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Feature: What's the Matter With San Diego? Another Round of Medical Marijuana Raids and Arrests Hit "America's Finest City"

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #601)
Politics & Advocacy

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis claims to be a friend of medical marijuana, but one would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the local medical marijuana community who would agree with her. This "friend" coordinated mass raids against medical marijuana dispensaries there in 2006, again in February of this year, and yet again just last week.

courthouse demonstration (courtesy William West,
It is part and parcel of a pattern of bitter, recalcitrant refusal on the part of San Diego county officials to abide by the will of the voters and accept the state's medical marijuana law. The conservative county Board of Commissioners is notorious for its opposition to medical marijuana, going so far as pursuing a quixotic and costly legal challenge to state laws, which it lost in every court that heard it.

On Tuesday, the Board unanimously extended for 10 months a moratorium on new dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. After its court challenge to the state law was defeated, the Board is now grudgingly allowing staff to develop regulations for dispensaries, but in the meantime, DA Dumanis is picking them off in batches.

The city of San Diego has been a bit more friendly. Last week, just one day before Dumanis' raiders struck, the City Council voted to implement a task force to create recommendations for regulating collectives and co-ops in accordance with guidelines issued earlier this year by the state attorney general. But if the City Council is working with the medical marijuana community, the San Diego Police Department is not. Instead, it has joined forces with Dumanis and her conservative cronies to attack the dispensaries.

Last week's raids shuttered 14 dispensaries in San Diego, the North County, and South Bay, and resulted in 33 arrests -- 31 under state charges and two under federal charges -- including wheelchair-bound patients hauled away by armed and uniformed law enforcement agents. Dumanis assembled squads of San Diego Police, San Diego County Sheriff's officers, DEA agents, and IRS agents to swoop down on the dispensaries, make arrests, seize cash and medicine, and disrupt the local medical marijuana distribution system.

While the DEA was present, last week's raids were Dumanis's baby. Only two of those arrested face federal charges.

"It was a joint investigation with the sheriff's department and the police department," said San Diego DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick. "We were asked for our assistance. We were not at every location."

Roderick declined to spell out how DEA San Diego is interpreting the current Justice Department position on not pursuing medical marijuana providers in states where it is legal unless they are in violation of state law. "I can't comment on policy," she said. "It's not made by the DEA."

"Like most San Diegans, I support the use of legitimate and legal medical marijuana use," Dumanis said at a press conference touting the busts. "However, it appears these so-called 'marijuana dispensaries' are nothing more than for-profit storefront drug dealing operations run by drug dealers hiding behind the state's medical marijuana law."

Donna Lambert (courtesy William West,
"We're not surprised at all, but very disappointed," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "What Dumanis is doing is simply unacceptable. If she has legitimate concerns about how dispensaries are operating, whether they're operating as collectives, she could use civil actions, she could use letters and accountants. There is no call for bringing in the DEA, arresting people in wheelchairs, scaring the hell out of patients, and shutting off medical marijuana access for very sick people. It's her tactics that we're really concerned with," she said.

"But also her misrepresentations to the public of what she's doing and her unproductive strategy of pointing out what she says is illegal, but not saying what is legal," Dooley-Sammuli continued. "Collective operators are doing their best to comply with the law, but she doesn't have answers for them. People have gone out of their way to follow the guidelines, but got raided anyway."

I don't think Bonnie Dumanis has ever seen a legal dispensary in 13 years," said Dion Markgraff, San Diego coordinator for Americans for Safe Access "She can't follow the plain language of the law, but instead she holds some impossible standard that no one else knows about," he said.

"We're on the front lines of the most terrorist county in the whole state," Markgraff continued. "The DA is sending in cops who lied to doctors to get valid recommendations, and then busting dispensaries that are operating according to the law. At worst, maybe somebody didn't file this or that piece of paper or had a zoning issue, but there was certainly nothing criminal."

Markgraff himself has had a taste of the DA's bitter medicine. "I was raided two months ago for 32 immature plants," he related. "My girlfriend and I both have medical marijuana recommendations, and I had a state caregiver card. The cops laughed at my card, then stole it. They took everything, they arrested me and my girlfriend, they took my kid, they gave us both $130,000 bail. Now we're fighting this Kafkaesque, Orwellian system where the prosecutors and the judges don't give a shit about legality."

There was nothing unique about police seizing his daughter, Markgraff said. "They do it all the time. The first thing they say is 'we're going to take your kids if you don't plead.' When they're using your kids as leverage, that's really ugly," he said.

"We have not, and will not prosecute people who are legitimately and legally using medical marijuana," Dumanis said at the press conference. "It's a shame that a few illegal drug dealers are trampling on the compassion shown by voters in passing California's medical marijuana law."

Medical marijuana patient and now criminal defendant Donna Lambert begs to differ. She joined a 10-person medical marijuana collective after the 2006 raids that disrupted supplies. "I provided medical marijuana to a valid qualified patient who was an undercover cop who lied to a doctor to get a doctor's recommendation," said Lambert, who was one of 14 people arrested in the Operation Green RX raids conducted in February. "There was no dispute about my patient status or his patient status."

In Operation Green RX, as many as ten detectives spent six months becoming qualified medical marijuana patients on fraudulent grounds and then joining medical marijuana collectives. Undercover San Diego Police Detective Scott Henderson lied to a doctor to obtain a valid medical marijuana recommendation and then reached out to Ms. Lambert for help. When, believing she was lawfully helping another patient, she supplied him with medical marijuana, Lambert became yet another of Dumanis' victims.

San Diego demonstration against 'Operation Green RX' (courtesy William West,
Lambert, a 47-year-old San Diego resident, began relying on marijuana to cope with chemotherapy. She struggles with a number of serious illnesses, including hepatitis C, cirrhosis, cancer and Sjoegrens Disease. She was bound over for December trial during a preliminary hearing last week, despite the judge in that hearing noting that she was clearly not in it for profit. "My attorney says they've never dismissed a medical marijuana sales case in San Diego," she said.

"They are a little more conservative down there than the other coastal cities," said San Francisco-based Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken when asked what was the matter with San Diego. "It seems like the county is more a problem than the city, and some of their officials, including the DA, are particularly bad."

California's confused medical marijuana law is part of the problem, said Mirken. "It doesn't specify with absolute clarity what is legal and what isn't when it comes to medical marijuana distribution. Everyone is operating on the attorney general's guidelines, which haven't been tested in court, and that leaves room for interpretation, so you have fertile ground for officials who choose to be jerks to wreak a great deal of havoc. That's what's happening in San Diego County."

"People got up in arms at the DEA, but in this case, they were playing a supporting role," said Mirken. "The real problem is local officials who think medical marijuana is okay as long as you don't actually get it from anyone. The law says patients can have marijuana, so it makes sense to have an aboveground, organized distribution system. We have working models for that in places like San Francisco and Oakland. It's not that hard to do if you have the political will to do it," Mirken said.

"It's just been an ongoing battle for lo these many years," said Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML in San Francisco. "The city of San Diego isn't so bad, but the county is more conservative. The county board of commissioners is the one that filed the lawsuit trying to overturn the state medical marijuana law. And the DA is just bad. We initially approved of her election; she is gay, and was viewed as progressive, but she's been really tough on medical cannabis. Still, I see a glimmer of hope here. In half of her statements, Dumanis seems to be saying that there might be some legal dispensaries around, but nobody's clear on who they are."

San Diego medical marijuana patients and activists aren't seeing glimmers of hope; they're seeing red. "We need to replace the DA, most of the county board, and the county sheriff," said Lambert. "They are all working together to subvert the state law. It doesn't matter to them if people are following the law or not, she just lies through her teeth about it. I am the perfect example of her lies."

"Dumanis has made a political calculation that this will appeal to her conservative base," said Markgraff. "There is no one currently running against her, but we are trying to get someone to do that. There are plenty of people upset with her, and now just in the medical marijuana community. She's ripe for being thrown out," he said.

"We are mobilizing in San Diego," said Dooley-Sammuli. "Patients and medical marijuana supporters are working to put pressure on her to stop these tactics, and we're working with the newly created city task force to craft regulations, but this is really all about Bonnie Dumanis and the upcoming election. She is hoping this will work for her politically, and we're working to see that it doesn't."

San Diego activists told the Chronicle of many more horror stories about medical marijuana persecution under DA Dumanis. While they are working to get rid of Dumanis and bring a measure of real justice to the DA's office, the Chronicle will be digging a little deeper into the alleged abuses.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Matthew Meyer (not verified)

The article points to an important issue: the wiggle room that is allowing local law enforcement to harass medical marijuana users. It leaves little doubt that heavy-handed and perhaps illegal tactics are being employed. At the same time, it is hard to believe that the fellow with 32 immature plants would not stick to the letter of the law, which in my understanding allows 12 immature plants per patient, or 24 for him and his girlfriend. What a shame that kids are caught in the middle. But knowing that such draconian jackbooting is happening, why not stick to the limits?

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 12:20pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Matthew Meyer (not verified)

The limit in San Diego is actually 24 plants per person, so he and his girlfriend were well UNDER their limit of 48 plants.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 5:26pm Permalink
Fact_Checker (not verified)

In reply to by Matthew Meyer (not verified)

He was sticking to the letter of the law. The law allows for collective association for the purposes of cultivation, and then exempts anybody doing this from all sales and sales related charges. The law goes further with the Landmark case Urziceanu 2005 and states that the legislature did not intend that all patients could grow which is why sales was exempted from prosecution. Several other landmark cases have agreed with this. Although this man is not charged with any sales related issues.
My understanding is that he was collectivelly associating with another person who was unable to grow for himself.
The district attorney knows they are violating the law. This is why they take peoples children away and use them as leverage to force people into plea bargains.
It is hard for the average citizen to believe, but the DA office is not on the side of good or protecting citizens. It is a political entity using dirty politics.
That man was well within his limits and his rights. This same thing has happened to people with only 8 plants.
Also search on you tube for Chris Lindberg, a sd prosecutor being interviewed who says that even "farms are legal" under sb420

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 2:58pm Permalink
memary10 (not verified)

In reply to by Fact_Checker (not verified)

My daughter, who is also a disabled medical marijuana patient is facing 23 years in prison for defending herself against thieving gangsters in Sacramento. The Landmark case Urziceanu 2005 was decided in favor of her collective, where she was a volunteer. When Mike Urziceanu was attacked and shot, she had just left the place and later was the person who cleaned up the blood and mess. There was a woman with Mike at the collective and the thief tried to shoot her. Event though he was wounded, Mike fought off the thief to defend her life. Police arrested HIM and he spent several years in prison anyway, until SB 420 was passed and he was released. They also prosecuted the woman who was completely bankrupted and lost everything in the struggle to clear herself and not go to prison. The shooter was never caught, of course.
This is but one example of many where medical marijuana patients and providers have been attacked, shot, beaten and robbed. If they defend themselves, as any citizen has the right to do under the Constitution, they are the ones prosecuted and often go to prison.
According to the DA and police, medical marijuana laws are bullshit and patients have no rights. To quote police, if you are a medical marijuana patient you must "let them do whatever they are going to do" if you are attacked. As a result, patients are charged and prosecuted for things no other citizens would be.

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 7:35pm Permalink
Sherry (not verified)

Quoted from story"Last week's raids shuttered 14 dispensaries in San Diego, the North County, and South Bay, and resulted in 33 arrests -- 31 under state charges and two under federal charges -- including wheelchair-bound patients hauled away by armed and uniformed law enforcement agents. Dumanis assembled squads of San Diego Police, San Diego County Sheriff's officers, DEA agents, and IRS agents to swoop down on the dispensaries, make arrests, seize cash and medicine, and disrupt the local medical marijuana distribution system."

What makes me so sick of reading this type of stories are the ones that are hurt worse by this.. People in wheelchairs being arrested by gun toting tyrants. Come on what is the matter with YOU PEOPLE!!!

May anyone in your families never to become so sick they can not function as normal people and have to deal with pain, suffering or anything of the such.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 2:23pm Permalink
maxwood (not verified)

1. I note that the jackbootlers or their political supporters were referred to by commentators as "conservative". Is it Conservative to destroy usable medicines and nutritional supplements?

2. The DA and others might be asked if they consider it "conservative", by driving up the price of cannabis and making it less competitive with $igarette tobackgo, to protect the nicotine addiction genocide empire which violates the injunction to Conserve human life?

3. Investigate and find out how much tobackgo industry money is involved in getting such candidates elected.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 3:10pm Permalink
Lone Wolf 54 (not verified)

I found it interesting that Dumanis and Roderick are women, but that the fascist agenda rolls on. If there is anything to learn from all this, it is that sexual body parts do not define fascism. The "General" who quietly approved the torture of Iraqi resistance fighters by US troops at Abu Ghraib Prison was a woman.

What is happening now in this fascist drug war is a change of tactics. Women are now being used as the spokespeople and the spearheads to continue this assault on our civil liberties because the traditional concept of women is that they are "compassionate". The women of today are being groomed and trained to phase out, or hide, any compassionate part of them. Thus you get Dumanis and Roderick: two women who will lie and do whatever they have to do to savor the "taste of power". Welcome, world, to the darkside of the "empowerment of women".

For all the people, men and women, who have decency, humanity, and true belief in civil liberties, this should be a wake up call and a call to peaceful arms. As Thomas Jefferson said, "When tyranny is used to govern the people, revolution is in order".

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 3:31pm Permalink
Giordano (not verified)

San Diego’s ocean scenery and temperate climate obscures an ominous underground of extreme right wing fixations and practices.  Part of the reason is the presence of the U.S. naval base and the proximity of the city to the military industrial complex that is located to the north in Orange County—John Birch territory.  But San Diego County is also home to the headquarters of creationist and intelligent design movements.  It boasts numerous birthers, deathers, dominionists, hollow earthers, and so forth.

Some of San Diego’s more illustrious politicians have included Edwin Meese, attorney general and drug warrior under President Ronald Reagan.  Meese was forced to resign the AG’s office over a conflict of interest scandal involving a government contractor.

Another San Diego native is former California Governor Pete Wilson.  Besides vetoing several pro-medical-marijuana bills in succession, Governor Wilson is infamous for shutting down a mental hospital and thereby callously tossing about 350 asylum patients out onto the city streets.  Since then, at least 60 of these former patients have been shot dead by police officers in various confrontational incidents.

Convicted kickback schemer Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham is still another alumnus of San Diego’s rogue’s gallery of drug warrior sadomoralists.

Getting past San Diego’s roster of reactionaries can be accomplished by influencing the Latino vote.   It was the influx of Hispanics into Anaheim in Orange County that countered the white racist vote there and caused many of Anaheim’s Birchers to relocate to Southern Idaho.  Given the Mexican Drug War and the tendency for drug laws to be used to subjugate racial minorities, an opportunity exists to shift the balance of power in Southern California to favor drug law reform if the Latino voters there can be encouraged to rise up and work to end drug prohibition.


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 4:39pm Permalink
citybill42 (not verified)


The medical-use marijuana conflict in San Diego County is simply a political issue. This should have been predicted by more advocates of marijuana use. I have not been particularly supportive of "medical-use marijuana" because it doesn't advance a solution to the real problem: drug prohibition in general. In fact, it tends to divert from the more sensible policy fight - repeal of sales, possession and simple use. This conflict over whether the medical-use marijuana dispensary activities are legitimate allows the anti-marijuana forces to do battle in a safe area, far from the appropriate area where it should be fought.

There are multiple (and in many cases insurance-covered) alternative medical treatment procedures - including many that have not shown any hint of efficacy when tested objectively under good control conditions - including many chiropractic procedures, most accupuncture, and all homeopathic treatment regimens. In spite of clear, science-supported evidence that marijuana can be used as a effective agent for several conditions - especially when others are less effective or cost prohibitive, advocates continually find themselves making the "legitimacy" argument. Arguments over "legitimacy" are irrelevant. Americans like accupuncture, homeopathy, and some of of the more questionable chiropractic procedures - and because of that, they are readily available. They do not care if these alternative approaches to medicine meet strict scientific proof of effectiveness.

As several commentors have already noted, the issue over marijuana is a political power issue - all drug prohibition is about political power. The prevailing government argument that illicit drugs are illicit because are a public health hazard falls flat because we allow alcohol to be used. What we control in alcoholic beverage use is primarily the context of its intoxicating effects - that is, the danger of alcohol use is when its intoxicating effects increase the danger to others within some environmental context (e.g., drinking AND driving).

Advocacy should focus on the repeal of drug possession and use AND to support reasonable laws that protect people from dangers resulting from the use of intoxicants within specific settings. This "public health" approach was always at the heart of drug laws in several European and latin American countries. Without pressure from the U.S. government, many of these nations have changed their drug possession laws to become more internally consistent with the policy that served as the basis of drug control in the first place.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 5:10pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

These people need to be replaced with people who care about the handicaped and disabled. This is a disgusting display by a bunch of sore losers and I mean losers. What is wrong with our president, is he unable to stop these people, if so what can we expect from him.

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 5:34pm Permalink
Fortuenti (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Obama's just an "Uncle Tom" who is mostly concerned about winning a second term. "CHANGE?" yeah, the only real change we got is the National Debt changing from thirteen to FOURTEEN figures. Some change!

Sat, 09/19/2009 - 9:45am Permalink
glenstark (not verified)

In reply to by Fortuenti (not verified)

If you take the time to read the article in its entirety, you will see that responsibility for these actions lie at the county level, particularly with the DA and police departments.

Despite progress in that direction in recent years (in particular with the last administration), the presidency is not a dictatorial position. It is one of limited power, which relies on cooperation from congress to accomplish its goals. Even if the president were dictator, it would be impossible for him or her to keep tight reigns on every single administrator in a position of power somewhere in the United States. Placing the blame for actions conducted by a DA in a county in California on Obama is unproductive, and frankly a bit stupid. Even if Obama had somehow managed to repeal all federal Marijuanna laws by now (which would have been a remarkable feat!), the situation here would still be occurring, as it is a result of a cultural bias in San Diego DA's office, combined with apparently unclear legislation as the California state level.

May I suggest that you take some time to educate yourself a little on how the political process in America works, so that you may make more informed comments and opinions? Taking the time to read articles in their entirety helps too.

As for our movements attitude towards Obama, I counsel cautious optimism and gratitude. Look at how much difficulty Obama is having pushing through a no-brainer like health care reform. Clearly it is important for him to conserve political capital, and use it judiciously. While I would love to see prohibition repeal and reform of America's criminal justice system take a high place on the list of the President's priorities, I can understand his thinking. Look at Clinton's attempts to allow homosexuals in the military. The resulting culture-war uprising weakened his presidency enormously, and it seems likely this was instrumental in getting Hillary's reform attempts halted. The reality of social change is it must often be accomplished gradually.

What Obama has done is stopped active support of the drug war from the White House. The position and language coming from the white house has changed dramatically. As a result, the debate has changed greatly, in our favor. More positive progress has occurred since the last election, than occurred since the Nixon years. At least some of the credit for that rests with the Obama administration.

It might be frustrating that things aren't changing as quickly as we would like, especially for an issue which has such clear and obvious cost-benefit data. But as your post, and the parent's show, politics is as more about emotion than it is about facts and figures, and the Executive office feels it must tread lightly on this issue. That at least is better than coming down hard with their boot heels, as the last 6 administrations have done.

Mon, 09/21/2009 - 7:23am Permalink
LSDeeDee (not verified)

In reply to by Fortuenti (not verified)

OBAMA? Ooooookaaaay........ What on earth does Obama have to do with San Diego not following a state law?

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:30am Permalink
borden (not verified)

In reply to by LSDeeDee (not verified)

The complaint here with the Obama administration is that the DEA participated in these raids, even though they were led by local authorities. The DOJ under Obama has also continued to prosecute victims of past federal raids.

I'm still hoping that Obama is more or less keeping his promise to stop the federal government's raids on medical marijuana coops, and that it's just taking awhile because of a gradualist approach to transforming the bureaucracy. But I'm not willing to assume that that's the case. So I'm all for protesting at this point -- but carefully worded protests, for the reasons Glen pointed out and for other reasons.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:07pm Permalink
ImStoned/ Will… (not verified)

In reply to by borden (not verified)

You’re Rights Too
I am an American, I believe in the red, white, and blue,
I believe in what she stands for, I believe her heart is true.
I believe the laws of this land are the laws for me and you.
I am your fellow American with unalienable rights too.
I believe in our freedom, I believe in your rights,
I believe our justice system will get through this alright.
Your corrupted ways Mrs. DA are now brought into the light.
What made you think that we would not give you a fight?

We were few when we started, and growing more each day,
We won’t stand by anymore to be treated by you this way.
You couldn’t do this peaceful you had to make it a war,
The law says your illegal when you kick in our doors.
It’s time to turn and hold our ground it’s time to make a stand.
It’s time you too do what’s expected of you by the laws of this land
William W. West
10/11/2009 12:03 AM

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 4:38pm Permalink
another disgus… (not verified)

seems only possible revenge on congress, white house for mj laws would be to push to outlaw cosmetic surgery and reimbursement for all business expenses!

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 8:36pm Permalink
Rev.Sleezy (not verified)

Maybe, she feels slighted because she is not receiving any of the graft she feels entitled too. IMHO


Fri, 09/18/2009 - 9:25pm Permalink
Robert Mac Farlane (not verified)

Of they really want to scratch up some dirt on dumanis all they have to do is find pat Blevins who was the first liason between community connections and drug court,
He had a very close relationship with the lesbian judge, but after about 8 years give or take it started falling apart til he stood up in court and cussed her out got fired . He could give some real important back ground dope on her do to his intimacy with her and the whole formation of drug court. Mark richards would be the one to talkto next. she became D.A. after mark took pats place. theres alot of scandal there, i KNOW it

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 4:20am Permalink

The San Diego Da, as well as others in states with medical marijuana access laws, is wasting time, resources, and most importantly hard earned tax dollars in an economy where every penny counts. So why is she going after many "easy,' targets. Is she scared to take on the crime where victims are involved, or has she gotten caught up in her own private agenda, and in doing so, become ineffective to do her job? I say yes, when one becomes a DA, representing the U. S., it is to get rid of crime, not go after patients of illnessess, with a Dr.'s prescription to obtain the medicine one needs. Why has our government's justice system turned into a, "do what they want," judiciary. Our country will extridite a person that's never been to our country, but not allow extriditon to the UK of a representative of that country that was caught smoking marijuana in a National Forrest, the local DA dropped the case in DC. The Double Standard, or "GOOD OL BOY," system of justice has got to be blind again. We were promised by the "Constitution," our Bill of Rights, with the the 4th, 9Th, and most importantly the 10Th Amendment, the giving of States' Rights. The Supreme Court understands this. So why are the DA's, across the States with Cannabis access, starting to raid medical marijuana patients? Don't they respect the "Constitution," or have they become so wrapped up in themselves and their private political and socological agendas to really do what they were trained and work hard to learn to do, catch violent criminals?

Cannabem liberemus,
Clif Deuvall
Founder - Executive Director
NORML of Waco Inc.
[email protected]
[email protected]

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 4:50am Permalink
jack (not verified)

so much for america as the land of the free. our freedom has been taken in the guise of the war on citizens. I mean the war on drugs.

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 8:25am Permalink
Bill A (not verified)

Dumanis can't point to a single example of a marijuana patient she has not prosecuted. Rudy Reyes was burned over 75% of his body and was prosecuted for a grow in his home. Paul Cody tried to work with the authorities at every step and was handcuffed and dragged out of his wheelchair for his efforts.

Not that I'm suprised... but lies to Bonnie are like flies to s_it.

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 11:04am Permalink
Norman Lepoff,… (not verified)

This is an excellent and well written article. Bonnie Duamnis is a disgrace to her office, her profession and to all of humanity.
Thank you, Donna, for writing this. Hopefully, the people of San Diego will get rid of this awful person!

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 11:40am Permalink
disgruntled ve… (not verified)

The violence raises the prices of the legal drug stock market profits they insider trade and the illegal drugs they secretly trade as well. Just ask Oliver North. It is freaking public record what they are doing and they certainly are not helping anyone but themselves to whatever they wish to kill and take.

Mon, 09/21/2009 - 5:12am Permalink
MARISAG (not verified)

San Diego, even though in California, is a lovely place to live... full of wealthy businesspeople, and oddly enough, evangelical christians, and MILITARY. We are a VERY conservative city (to my own chagrin). But ultimately, we have a gung-ho police force and most of the local lawmakers are Republican. It's stupid that pot has been legal in California for years now for medicinal purposes and San Diego has been dragged kicking and screaming into holding up their part of the law in allowing coops and distributing marijuana cards. This is actually why San Diego is such a transient city. People just get sick of how the city is run and leave, only to come back a couple of years later because they miss the I hope that one day, San Diego will see a real change.... Maybe with global warming, Alaska will heat up and we can ship the conservatives out! LOL

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:27am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

arresting people in wheelchairs? What a scumbag thing to do. This country is a joke, no different then soviet Russia. Freedom does not exist here. I just read another article yesterday about a family who were sent to prison for 10 years for selling hydroponic lamps. They didn't get convicted of possession, sale, or distribution. They never found any evidence of marijuana or anything illegal going on with their business, but yet they were convicted of "conspiracy". Hard-working taxpaying small business owners sent to prison for 10 years for that stuff while robbers and rapists go to jail for half that. The Drug War needs to end but it probably never will because the DEA would be out of a job, the prisons would be half full and the prison guards would be out of a job, the prison construction industry would be out of work since there would be no need to build prisons anymore. Too much money involved, too many kickbacks, too much corruption.

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:44pm Permalink
Brian Schlangen (not verified)

"One thing that everyone seems to forget is that even though MJ is legal in California, it is still a controlled BANNED substance on the Federal Level"
How is it controlled? Is the quality, quantity, purity, growing conditions or ANYTHING controlled? Only by the people that are in it for the huge profits. Only by the ones that don't care about the user... other than if they got the ca$h. (sounds like big tobacco) If you walk into a bar and purchase a drink that did not come from a federally overlooked brewery, but instead came from some dude's massive 'still', into which he possibly puts toxins into on the weekends, would you argue for a system be put in place to oversee the production of your drink? to ensure you are getting something of known quality and safety? that oversight is called LEGALIZATION, it's called REGULATION... not prohibition (banning). I completely understand your viewpoint, but not your support of the complete lack of regulation or control.

"If we legalize Marijuana what other illegal drugs should follow? Cocaine, heroin, acid, meth?"
To legalize does not mean to force people to use. To legalize means to create a system in which there is regulation, and education. Tobacco and alcohol are perfectly legal human killers and yet, I can (and do) actively choose not to use... Those who wish to use these other, currently illicit, substances make a conscience choice to do so, with disregard to the law.

"There are countries that have legalized MJ, what has it cost them?"
I would like you to tell us that aren't familiar with the countries that have allegedly Legalized cannabis... i know of several that are lenient towards cannabis and some that have decriminalized it, but i'm not certain of any that have legalized... there IS a difference. and what has it cost them? organized crime has dropped? cost of healthcare plummeted? what exactly are you referring to?

"BUT those same people should be treated fairly and humanely. Wheelchair or not, if you break the law then you are going to be arrested."
Riddle me this: You are sick- you finally find the one substance (cannabis) that you can take to alleviate your symptoms and illness- this substance is taken away from you and you are thrown into a squad car and then a jail cell- apparently, you broke a law.
You are stating that all laws on the books are right and just and should be prosecuted to the letter. according to psychology texts, your rationing, is that of a young child... "the law is the law and that's that" whereas us reasonable folks think more like "the law is a nice guideline but if it is not sensible or humane, it will not be followed"

If you do not agree with anything I have stated in the above, you must at least see that scheduling cannabis alongside all the other schedule I drugs is in blatant disregard of factual evidence...
Under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) scheduling, schedule I drugs must:
1. Have no accepted medical use.
There are only four remaining patients in the entire country that receive medical cannabis (hardly medical grade but that's a different issue) from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. If they can give these four people "Medical Marijuana" (Fed. Gov's words) and then say it has no medical value or use, something is terribly wrong and needs to be changed. BUSTED
2. have no accepted safety standards.
Many studies have shown that cannabis has an LD50 ratio of 10,000:1 meaning one would need to ingest ten thousand times the amount in one dosing, to become worried about an overdose. that said, it'd be impossible to ingest such an amount in the short period of time required. BUSTED
3. have a high potential for abuse
as a former user of both alcohol and tobacco, i can safely say it is much easier to fall into abusing those 'legal' chemicals than to "abuse" cannabis. with no definition of "abuse" listed, that one is left to debate.

two of the three of their guidelines are falsely accusing cannabis of being something it is not.... Harmful and dangerous

I get all worked up when i read articles and responses to articles like this one. so, sorry for the long ranting and raving.

We are ready for CHANGE. Can we do it? YES WE CANNABIS!!

Fri, 09/25/2009 - 12:02pm Permalink
Phil S (not verified)

. . . . and the DEA as well. Here's how it goes:

All of the "costs" of the drug war, which are so widely broadcast and lamented in big $ figures, omit consideration of the compensation that the DEA gets from the wholesale seizures of property and money from everyone arrested. These items are NEVER RETURNED even if the person is ruled not guilty.

And it's not as if the loot seized is for the purpose of evidence. The very illegality --and now the closely police monitored legality-- of a widely used and desired substance creates a "problem" that effectively gives the DEA and local law enforcement the legal right to steal from citizens and now from businesses. Please check the many government auctions conducted daily for automobiles, real estate--where did you think the govt was acquiring these properties to sell?

And by the way, where do you think the confiscated marijuana goes--by law a prescribed medcine? Food for thought.

It doesn't mean that individual policemen are dishonest. But the DEA has enshrined this practice as tradition. And right now California Law Enforcement is having a financial crisis. According to their own inner sources, their entire state budget was slashed by 10% for 2009-2010.

Enter the DEA, who promises them cash to make up their shortfall, but ONLY on the condition that they "obey federal law" and effectively flout their own California state law by persecuting medical marjuana patients and providing clinics. In San Diego they took the money, so they are effectively serving as mercenaries for the DEA, which should clear up for you why the DEA was ALSO present in the raids.

I have a serious idea. On the upcoming "Legalize and Tax" bill before the California Assembly, let's do what the earlier lottery bill did with education. Let's dedicate a fixed percentage of the legal (and medical marijuana) tax revenue to California law enforcement--but ONLY on the condition that they turn down DEA dirty money .
If Law Enforcement's own well-being was tied to the propersity of marijuana in California they would be cutting their own financial throats to continue the abusive raids, and their opinions on legalizing would change overnight.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 10:36am Permalink

When the very souls we are to trust to enforce the laws of our land are using terrorism against us it bothers me. In San Diego California our system of justice took such a turn. Our trusted DA Bonnie Dumanis seams to of changed her strategy to remove medical marijuana shops in order to stop it's use. Her first mistake was to lie about her intentions and tell the public the real truth. She created Operation Green Rx to cover truth by throwing other drug cases to make it appear as she single handed stop drug dealing on military bases. Now the courts have gotten so many cases hitting the system at once she decided to go back to the one at a time method as shown in this video. Please excuse the background noise. to allow this type of behavior from our DA's office is a disgrace to the word "justice" we need to fight the real war within our country, it's the ones taking away our right to seek happiness. I use medical marijuana to help with my pain. Who is anyone to tell me what I use? It's not the plant that lets me down, it's the people against it lying about it that does. It's not our war here in San Diego it's everyones war on rights we are fighting. Help us fight for us. Do you want your kids to live like this as well?

Sun, 12/13/2009 - 2:26am Permalink

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