Coastal Post Online

May 2001

Will Kamena Be Kayoed By Recall Election?

By Stephen Simac

Just how did she become so unpopular? Paula Kamena, Marin's DA is asking herself, as she faces her special recall election on May 22. Her only supporters are the police and the local media. Her main argument to Marin voters for keeping her is that this election is going to cost us a half million.

The election will cost the same no matter the result, but Marin will save money by voting out Kamena. Marin's DA office is among the most expensive and least effective at prosecuting the cases she does pursue.

A Gun At Your Head For A Joint In Your Hand

Marin law enforcement has spent millions in taxpayer funds by continuing to make medical marijuana arrests five years after voters changed state law to stop these practices. That old excuse about "we don't make the law, we just enforce it" has been abandoned.

Kamena has been dropping charges against some sick and injured people that Marin police departments continue to arrest and seize their medical marijuana. She has continued pursuing prosecutions against those who don't meet her arbitrary guidelines. Her guidelines aren't consistent with state law passed by voters. They don't even have internal logic.

She has borrowed the example of Sonoma county that limit a patient's medical marijuana to 13 immature plants or six mature plants, and 1/2 pound of dried medicine. Judges and juries have consistently thrown out these limits as illegal. What is the patient supposed to do with what's left over from their year's harvest from six plants above 1/2 pound? What happens when their 1/2-lb. stash runs out around Christmas?

These are entirely arbitrary restrictions to proposition 215, which set no limits. It is now state law 11362.5, which allows people to use and grow cannabis if they have a physician's recommendation. Sacramento is supposedly writing official state guidelines in limbo committee. Kamena has chosen to create local interpretation of voter created state law, meanwhile..

Her office drew up these policies with no medical expertise or attempts to determine the actual needs and rights of patients. Oakland sought out expert testimony by doctors, growers and patients to set their generous restrictions of state law to 150 plants and bales of buds.

Motherless Child

Her medical understanding is deficient, but her legal actions are vengeful and it is her lack of compassion that did her in. The grand jury and a special investigation pointed out the open conflicts of interest in the family court system. A mother who got caught up in that system may have been delusional, but she still got treated cruelly for wanting to see her baby.

Kamena was setting a vicious example of what the government can do to citizens, when she sent a mother to prison for three years for attempting to see her daughter in school. Carol Mardeusz broke some laws but refused to give up on seeing her child, after Marin's family court system gave total custody to the father without good cause.

She's out of prison now, and began the petition recall of family court judges and Kamena a year ago.

Marin voters didn't sign on to recalling family court judges, but they knew about Kamena's hardline stance on medical marijuana. When voters passed proposition 215 in 1996 they were telling police and DA's to stop punishing sick and injured people for following their physician's advice.

Five years later and police are still illegally raiding and arresting sick and injured people obeying the law.

Let My People Go!

Twenty thousand registered voters in Marin signed the petition saying we want a DA who will enforce voter established state law, not her arbitrary guidelines.

Marin voters passed proposition 215 in 1996 by over 73 per cent, right at the highest support in the state. Voters read the proposition then, which was quite clear. It is now state law. For police officials to continue to break this law and arrest sick and injured people is not in their best interests or the county's lawsuit coffers. These raids may be exciting yet safe for the officers, debilitating for the patient, while their brutalizing busts and prosecutors who sort and choose who to further punish among them can only be seen as cruel and unusual.

The desire of Marin and California voters to require our civil servants to help sick people not arrest them, requires the recall of elected officials who violate that law. Kamena is the first of several recall elections of county DA's who refused to obey this state law. Unfortunately there are many counties in California that are not following state law, and Marin is one of them.

The Weak Fight Back

The energy of medical marijuana fueled those petition gatherers who delivered her knockout punch, even though Kamena thought she could crush them with no consequences.

Kamena is suddenly concerned about wasting taxpayer monies, but she hasn't presented the full costs to the county because of her decision to arrest and prosecute medical marijuana users and growers.

Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted by allowing loaded gun raids on sick people, add on the administrative and legal time twiddling expenses, court costs and inevitable payouts in lawsuits when honest judges throw out the cases. So far judges in Marin have regularly ordered the cannabis given back, in pretty sad condition because the police are not gardeners, nor are they medically trained.

Arresting The Sick And Injured

If busting a dying mother and her son twice, who had a legal prescription for growing and using medical marijuana was the only sin of Kamena, then the claims that her recall is excessive are shattered.

That family is just one of her sick or injured victims. How would you feel if it were your mother with breast cancer or your brother in pain with a gun at his head by your government servants?

You'd feel a great joy when you voted her out. You'd know that your vote helped end an evil war. If you aren't registered to vote then do so, because this may be the one time when you can feel good about voting. Vote to recall Kamena on May 22nd.





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