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Marijuana Advocates Hail Mayor's Halt On Dispensary Crackdown

Posted on  January 18, 2013 by  News Admin

  San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced end to code enforcement attacks by the city, agreed to develop regulatory ordinance Advocates applauded the recent actions of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in trying to put an end to the years-long crackdown on access to medical marijuana in the city. Two days after announcing at a local chapter meeting of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) -- the country's largest medical marijuana grassroots advocacy group -- that he was going to direct city authorities to stop shutting down dispensaries, Mayor Filner delivered on that promise by sending letters yesterday to San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Neighborhood Code Compliance Director Kelly Broughton. Calling on city authorities to "Stop the Crackdown on Marijuana Dispensaries," Mayor Filner directed them to "stop targeted code enforcement against marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego immediately," and "stop sending dispensary code enforcement cases to the City Attorney's Office for prosecution." San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has worked hand-in-hand with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to shut down almost all of the dispensaries in the San Diego area. Mayor Filner's letter is the result of a promise made Tuesday at a monthly chapter meeting of ASA members. As a guest of the meeting, Mayor Filner spoke to the group and laid out a three-point plan. In addition to directing the city to stop unnecessary code enforcement, Mayor Filner said he would work with advocates to develop a regulatory ordinance for dispensaries....

San Diego Mayor Ends Marijuana Dispensary Crackdown

Posted on  January 11, 2013 by  News Admin

 San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ordered an end to that city's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. The mayor's order decrees an immediate stop to the city's practice of filing code-enforcement violations against the collectives. Acting on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's advice, the mayor sent a letter [PDF] to Kelly Broughton, director of San Diego's Development Services Department, reports Dave Maass at San Diego CityBeat. Re: Stop the Crackdown on Marijuana Dispensaries Kelly,  I am writing to direct the Department of Neighborhood Code Compliance to stop targeted code enforcement against marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego immediately. Further, pursuant to a letter from the City Attorney dated January 9, 2013, I am directing your Department to stop sending dispensary code enforcement cases to the City Attorney's Office for prosecution.  To be clear, if there are general code enforcement or health and safety issues arising from these businesses, you are expected to enforce those laws against these businesses in the same manner you would any other business.  If you have any questions, please contact my office directly.  Sincerely,  Bob Filner Mayor The letter comes just two days after Mayor Filner publicly attacked Goldsmith for filing civil actions against dispensaries; at that time, Filner promised to testify on behalf of patients in court. Goldsmith then sent Mayor Filner a letter saying the mayor could stop him from going after the collectives in "30 seconds." The mayor's Thursday letter, reproduced above, was his response. Mayor Filner had already expressed his support...

Victory! Historic Decision Issued In Medical Marijuana Case

Posted on  October 25, 2012 by  News Admin

  Fourth District Court of Appeal rejects requirement that all collective members must be actively involved in cultivation The Fourth District Court of Appeal for California on Wednesday issued a unanimous published ruling in a landmark medical marijuana case that reverses the conviction of a San Diego dispensary operator, Jovan Jackson, convicted in September 2010 after being denied a defense in state court. Wednesday's historic ruling also reversed the lower court's finding that Jackson was not entitled to a defense, providing the elements for such a defense in future jury trials. "This landmark decision not only recognizes the right of  dispensaries to exist and provide medical marijuana to their patient members, it also grants a defense for those providers in state court," said Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana advocacy group. Elford also argued Jackson's appeal before the court. "By rejecting the Attorney General's argument that patients who utilize dispensaries must collaborate, or 'come together' in 'some way' to cultivate the marijuana they purchase, the court is establishing a clear standard for dispensaries across the state," Elford said. Specifically, Wednesday's ruling held that in mounting a defense at trial, "Jackson was only required to produce evidence which would create a reasonable doubt as to whether the defense provided by the [Medical Marijuana Program Act] had been established." The court further held that, "the collective or cooperative association required by the act need not include active participation by all members in the cultivation process...