Lawyers who've worked on the medical-marijuana dispensary issue are understandably perplexed by District Attorney and mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis' recent written statement expressing her support for medical marijuana and desire to help regulate dispensaries in San Diego.
You can read her statement here.
Alex Kreit, a Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor who chaired the city's Medical Marijuana Task Force, has published a reaction on the liberal blog Two Cathedrals, criticizing Dumanis for hypocrisy and daring her to "walk her talk." He breaks down her statements one-by-one, highlighting the reality.
"Bonnie Dumanis's statement 'clarifying [her] position on medical marijuana' is fundamentally inconsistent with the actions she has taken as District Attorney," Kreit writes. "As District Attorney, Dumanis has stood in the way of safe access to medical marijuana for patients at every turn by declining to work with the City's task force, refusing to issue prosecutorial guidelines, and working to shut down all medical marijuana collectives in San Diego."
Michael Cindrich, a local attorney representing marijuana collectives, issued a reaction after CityBeat contacted him. Regarding Dumanis' claim that she has "never prosecuted a legitimate patient for simply possessing marijuana," Cindrich writes via email:
This is a false statement. I have seen dozens of legitimate patients prosecuted for simply possessing marijuana. Usually the charge is not simple possession, but instead felony cultivation, transportation, and/or possession with intent to sell. Whether it is a single patient cultivating more than the SB 420 limits for their personal medical needs, or a group of patients cultivating collectively, her office is extremely anti-medical marijuana. My clients have been forced to face felony prosecutions when it is clear that they are complying with state law. Sometimes these charges are dismissed pretrial, but not before the patient is arrested, treated like a criminal, and publicly embarrassed through several court appearances.
Medical marijuana patients use and possess marijuana differently than many recreational users. For example, a scale and baggies are used by medical marijuana patients to weigh out their dosages. If the DA's office is prosecuting a medical marijuana case, they automatically assume that the scale and baggies means that the individual is selling marijuana. Eventually the client will be put in a position where they will either have to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit, or face the time, expense, and stress of a felony prosecution.