Coastal Post Online

April 2001

Kamena's Guidelines And The Recall

By Reverand Lynnette Shaw

The beef that medical marijuana patients have with the County Registration Program and District Attorney Paula Kamena's Medical Marijuana Guidelines are neither trivial not hysterical.

To make matters worse, they have been combined. The County program forces the patient to agree that a legal medical cannabis patient has no protection from arrest, plus all cannabis discovered by any law enforcement will always be seized and never returned.

The following outlines the illegality of Kamena's guidelines, the County program that incorporates them, and the law enforcement actions that follow them.

1) DA Kamena's guidelines violate the State of California Constitution. California Health and Safety Code 11362.5, The Compassionate Use Act (CUA), is directly violated by the first sentences of DA Kamena's guidelines: "It is important to remember that: Federal law prohibits possession and cultivation by any person and does not recognize medicinal use. Therefore, all marijuana is contraband and may be properly seized by law enforcement."

By contrast, California's State Constitution, Article 3 Section 3.5 reads, "An administrative agency, including an administrative agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no power (c) "To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by federal law or federal regulations."

One has to wonder if DA Kamena is more than remotely familiar with law. Perhaps her law school, not accredited by the American Bar Association, left her with an incomplete education.

2) The DA's guidelines violate the Constitutional right to privacy. DA Kamena tried to require mandatory registration of any and all medical cannabis users. We had launched a boycott of the Marin County medical marijuana ID program in 1997, because the program did not stop anyone from being arrested and having their medical cannabis seized, and then having to go to court, produce the doctors note, and then get released, with no return of seized medicine. What kind of "compassion program" is that?

After DA Kamena took office, she stopped returning our phone calls, and then issued her "bust them all" guidelines and tried to increase registration in the County program by making enrollment mandatory. Our members (and everyone else) refused to enroll. Our attorneys were backed by judicial decisions.

One of our worst cases was "Mr. X," threatened with jail when he refused to sign up to the County ID program. The DA's office told him he would have to go to a jury trial to get dismissed if he did not sign up to the County ID program. DA Kamena made "Mr. X" appear nine times in court, before the DA's office dismissed "in the interest of justice" because he had a doctor's note in advance of his arrest for 3 grams. That's right, nine appearances over three grams. "Mr. X" did not want to be forced into a registration program that does not protect any rights, and he does not trust the DA nor the County on this issue.

The County ID does NOT prevent a patient from being arrested, having their medicine confiscated, and enduring legal abuse, before the DA or a judge dismisses due to the doctor's note. Since the DA is upholding Federal law over State law, any information turned into the County could also be easily turned over to the Feds by the DA .

3) DA Kamena has violated the laws governing the Separation of Powers. First of all, the branch of government that is properly assigned the task of writing law is the Legislative branch. Developing laws or de facto laws are not within the legal boundaries of any District Attorney.

Secondly, DA Kamena's guidelines prohibit anyone on parole or probation from using medical cannabis. The DA is restricted by law and cannot tell the judge nor the probation department how to do their job, what ruling to make, or what policy to adopt. The guidelines have done just that. The practical application of DA Kamena's guidelines for this example, was a wholesale sweep of the Probation Department starting immediately after the guidelines were adopted, in which dozens of people who were on probation were suddenly violated for having legal cannabis in their urine, threatened with time in jail and community service hours. Then the DA attempted to force them all into the mandatory County ID registration program that has been boycotted for violating our Constitutional rights.

One example is a patient in jail right now, with liver cancer, violated for her legal cannabis that even a judge said she could have. We are working on rescuing her now.

4) DA Kamena is in violation of Marin County Medical Marijuana Ordinance #3109, unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors on September 18, 1992.

In 1992 I co-sponsored the Marin Medical Marijuana Ordinance #3109, still on the books in Marin, that declares that enforcement of marijuana laws against patients are the "lowest possible priority" for the County. This was a big headline in all the papers at the time. There were no cannabis -positive urine test violations of sick persons from 1992 through 1999 because of this former policy. DA Kamena changed all that.

5) Kamena has violated the Brown Act by closing the doors to the public. DA Kamena has expressly prohibited supporters of the Fairfax dispensary from contacting her by phone, mail, or fax, nor are we allowed to attempt to meet with her or her staff at any time.

In Summary

DA Kamena's medical marijuana policy has violated the California State Constitution, the US Constitution, the Brown Act, the Marin Medical Marijuana Ordinance #3109, and the Compassionate Use Act.

Her policy has targeted medical cannabis using patients, causing immense grief and suffering among the disabled of our community, in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Bill of Rights, various civil rights legislation, and the laws governing the separation of powers have been all violated by DA Kamena's policies.

These grievances could not be redressed by normal means available, being blocked from any contact whatsoever, by her specific, discriminatory, policy. Our only recourse was to redress our grievances by petition, and to endorse and support the recall started by family law court corruption We ask everyone to vote Yes to Recall Kamena, and to vote for Tom Van Zandt for DA, to help bring the Civic Center into the 21st century.

We, the victimized medical cannabis patients, have so much in common with the victims of the family law court , it is very disturbing, and shows a pattern of abusive public policy that is a conscious effort, and has resulted in tyranny and illegal acts against the most vulnerable of our village.

Let's make things better. Vote Yes on the recall.

Lynnette Shaw


founder / owner:

Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana

Cannabis Buyers' Club Marin




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