Coastal Post Online

December 2000

Stop the War Against Medical Marijuana
Recall DA Paula Kamena

By Rev. Lynnette Shaw

The D.A. wants to know if "anyone is bothering this woman;" I assume, of course, she means me. Embroiled in controversy as usual, I stand with over 20,000 Marin voters who believe there is something terribly wrong at the Civic Center. The issue of medical cannabis harassment's, arrests, and confiscations is what is bothersome.

Yes, D.A. Kamena, every time one of my unwell friends gets busted for their medical pot, I am bothered.

Every time officers bring the Kamena guidelines with them, pointing to Rule #1, the part claiming that Federal law supersedes State law, that all marijuana is contraband and may be properly seized. The "100% eradicate guideline" from Kamena is in violation of the California Constitution, which clearly indicates that officers of the State should uphold State law. This bothers me.

Every time the probation department violates a legal cannabis user for having cannabis in their urine, and we have to go to court to get a judicial order on behalf of the patient to stop it, it bothers me.

This probation department practice had ended with the adoption of the Marin Medical Ordinance #3109 on September 18, 1992. Yes, before Prop. 215, thanks to Supervisor Gary Giacomini and Dr. Tom Peters, a memo went to the Probation Department encouraging them to observe Ordinance #3109 and not violate persons living with AIDS or cancer or other serious illnesses for cannabis positive tests. Unbothered, people with our ID cards were left alone, thanks to Marin policy, until seven years later on September 1, 1999, when D.A. Kamena ordered the Probation Department to "bust 'em all." The probation guideline is in violation of the Separation of Powers Act, which clearly states that a D.A. cannot dictate terms of probation, nor can they tell the judge what to do. The DA's actions are also in violation of Marin Ordinance #3109.

Every time law enforcement personnel cite D.A. Karmena's "bust 'em all" guidelines and grinds a patient's legal marijuana into the ground with their boot, not bothering to ticket or arrest, knowing the judge will let the patient go, I am bothered.

Every time I have to go to court to hold the hand of yet another sick person forced there at least three times until the D.A. presents the doctor's note to the judge, who lets them go, I am bothered.

It bothers me to the point of tears that an ill, disabled woman, Carol Mardeusz, cannot be released on bail for proper medical treatment because of political reasons.

I am a patient who has nearly recovered from life long illness, thanks to cannabis. I am able to work, but no one should have the sad stressful job I have. Patient Rescue and Paralegal Support is my job and I must work every day. Why should there be so much arresting, destroying, and hassling going on of sick people who produce doctors' notes on the spot to police, and get their homes wrecked anyway? Plus, get charged and lose their medicine, only to be freed by the judge, and then brought back in again because the police know where the patient lives. How awful you all have been, except in Fairfax and San Anselmo where peace officers check with us before they destroy someone's garden or confiscate their medicine. I thank them for the justice and respect they have shown in this part of Marin County.

Why is there a need for 42 prosecutors in low crime Marin County? We have excessive prosecution of small charges and innocent people as a result. Especially the patients who use cannabis for relief. This system is set up to enrich the system at the expense of the poor and unfortunate.

To those who criticize our organization or try to condemn us with false and hearsay so-called evidence: There is nothing wrong with us, we are tending and protecting the sick. Your noses need to get out of our homes and other people's lives. After ten years of ridiculous accusations still going on ad nauseum, I suggest that the 25 percent of non-supporters all get used to the fact that:

H&S; Code 11362.5 (Prop. 215) has been State law for four years. We represent hundreds of ill persons and thousands of supporters. Seventy five percent of Marin voted for Prop. 215 (Medical Marijuana) and Prop. 36 (Treatment Not Prisons). We are going to trade in this failed drug war policy DA for someone who reflects the compassionate will of the voters. Power to the People via the Anonymous Ballot... "Sweep Out Civic Center!"

Donations to the Marin Alliance Legal Defense Fund are gratefully accepted. Call us at 415-256-9328 for further information, check our website at, or email me at [email protected]

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