MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Two Men Indicted In San Diego
A San Diego municipal court judge yesterday rejected a "medical necessity" defense used by two men charged with growing and distributing marijuana. The men, "who contended they were providing large amounts of marijuana to sick people," now "face trial on multiple felony counts of cultivating and selling pot," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Dion Markgraaff, founder of the San Diego Cannabis Caregivers Club in Ocean Beach, "was ordered" by Municipal Court Judge Albert Harutunian III "to stand trial on charges of cultivating, conspiring to distribute and selling marijuana." Steve McWilliams, founder of the North County Cannabis Cooperative, "was ordered to stand trial on charges of transporting, cultivating and conspiring to distribute marijuana and also of maintaining a marijuana-growing location." According to the judge, both men "do not meet the standard for primary caregivers that is stated" in Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative that passed in November 1996. In addition, he said that "the many pounds of marijuana with which they were involved did not indicate it was only for personal use." James Silva, attorney for the defense, said, "When we get done with the trial, and the jury has seen who was involved in getting care, the prosecution is going to be ashamed of themselves" (Jahn, 6/3).
In Related News
A 62-year-old Simi Valley man "who uses marijuana for medical reasons plans to file a lawsuit following his arrest last week," the Ventura County Star reports. Richard Jones Wednesday "was booked on felony suspicion of cultivating marijuana" even though he had "a prescription from his doctor and a card identifying him as a former client of the Ventura Medical Cannabis Center" which was shut down earlier this year. Simi Valey Police Lt. Neal Rein "said he couldn't comment about the case ... but said cultivation of marijuana is illegal." However, the Ventura County Star notes that the ballot measure "approved by California voters," reads: "(Possession and cultivation laws) shall not apply to a patient ... who possesses or cultivates marijuana for personal medicinal purposes upon the ... approval of a physician" (Browne, 6/3).