Eugene Davidovich: Proving my medical marijuana case

As news of Operation Green Rx, its questionable methods of execution, and the fraudulent manner in which it was announced, spreads through District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ constituent base, a lot of supporters have stepped forward to condemn the operation and the tactics used. Even elected officials are beginning to recognize that the operation was a colossal waste and misuse of power. In a recent conversation I had on Facebook with state Assemblymember Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), she labeled Operation Green Rx as “monumentally unjust.”

Operation Green Rx is an ongoing investigation, part of Bonnie Dumanis’ “fierce fight” against medical marijuana in San Diego. As part of the operation our San Diego police detectives went to a local doctor, lied about their symptoms, condition, and identity and obtained recommendations for medical cannabis. They then proceeded to join all the collectives listed on the CA NORML Web site with the intent of shutting them down.

In February of this year approximately a dozen houses were raided, patients arrested and then lumped in with other drug cases which had nothing to do with medical cannabis.

Shortly after the raids in February, President Obama issued a statement announcing the end of federal participation in raids on legitimate state medical cannabis patients, collectives and co-ops. One would think that a message like that from our President would resonate with the DA’s office. Unfortunately it did not.

Less than a month ago, as a part of the continuing “Operation Green Rx”, detectives — who are trained by the California Narcotic Officers Association that marijuana is not medicine — again went to a local doctor, lied about their symptoms and obtained medical cannabis recommendations. This cycle of lies seems to be happening every few months.

Thirteen years of repression here in San Diego has caused a lot of pent up demand for medical cannabis facilities in town. Patients seem not to care about the DA’s stance on the issue, and as you may have noticed this “fierce fight” has not prevented medical cannabis collectives and coops from opening up throughout the city. In fact it has encouraged them. Since February, in San Diego more facilities where patients can obtain their medicine have opened than ever existed before.

As Dumanis wages her fierce fight against medical cannabis in San Diego, the federal government is preparing to expand their already existing medical cannabis growing program. Last week, in an article titled “ObamaCare’s Medical Marijuana,” Rachel Ehrenfeld outlined the Federal Government’s request for proposals for medical cannabis cultivators.

She writes: “The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is venturing into the distribution and production of marijuana cigarettes. According to the August 5 solicitation for proposals, the selected organizations will be controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and will have to comply with FDA regulations.”

This a renewal contract for the already existing federal medical cannabis growing contract in place with the University of Mississippi.

In a follow up article titled “The Case For Medical Marijuana,” Bruce Mirken of MPP writes “Since 1978, actually. The federal government has been distributing medical marijuana to a small group of patients for more than three decades via a program known as an IND (for ‘investigational new drug’). This program has been covered in the media from time to time, and still exists, although it was closed to new enrollment by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. It’s not exactly a state secret.”

Mikern also mentions that “there is a wealth of research that documents marijuana’s medical efficacy and safety, and a vast array of medical and public health organizations that have recognized marijuana’s medical potential.”

The federal government is ramping up for medical cannabis production and California is preparing for the passage of any one of several pro-cannabis initiatives. But in a state where medical cannabis has been legal for over 13 years now — San Diego’s misguided district attorney is still “fighting fiercely against it.”

I agree with  Saldaña and the hundreds of people I spoke to about Operation Green Rx. This “fierce fight” is monumentally unjust, a waste or our taxpayer dollars, is illegal, and must end. The misconduct in this operation should be publicly known and the people responsible held accountable.

In response to the continued harassment and this fierce fight, patients, collectives, and coops in town have united to launch the Stop Operation Green Rx campaign, an effort to draw attention to the issue, end these continued illegal prosecutions, and prevent more raids.

Constituents are now writing letters to the State Bar of California to complain about the District Attorney’s unethical practices and her violations of the rules of professional conduct. Calls, email, and letters are now pouring in to the Citizens Review Board on police practices with complaints against the conduct of the detectives in this operation, and the Grand Jury on a daily basis is being asked to investigate this waste, fraud, and abuse.

Will the charges be dropped and the operation stopped? Or are we in for another colossal waste in the DA’s bi-annual round of raids on medical cannabis patients?

Help Stop Operation Green Rx, join the cause on Facebook and read the Operation Green Rx blog for the latest.
Eugene Davidovich can be reached via his Web site. 

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