Manager Who Sold Pot To Undercover Officers Sentenced
SAN DIEGO -- The former manager of a now-defunct medical marijuana dispensary was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail and fined $5,000 for selling the drug for profit to undercover officers.
Jovan Jackson -- himself a medical marijuana patient -- was convicted in September of three felony counts, including possession for sale of marijuana.
Judge Howard Shore said Jackson -- now a barber -- could report for custody on Feb. 1.
Jackson's attorneys, Lance Rogers and Joe Elford of Americans for Safe Access, said the case is not over.
"We'll be appealing this decision immediately," Elford told reporters outside the courtroom. "This judge erred in excluding the defense, he erred in not dismissing this case on double jeopardy grounds. He had a chance to clean up his errors today. He didn't do so. So now we move on to the Court of Appeals."
As part of Jackson's three years on probation, the judge said the defendant couldn't use medical marijuana, which he had taken for lockjaw.
"This hasn't been easy," Jackson said in court. "When I started Answerdam, I didn't expect it to come to this. I didn't try to escape the law. At this stage of my life, I'm ready to move on."
A jury found that Jackson twice last year sold marijuana to undercover officers who went to Answerdam Alternative Care in Kearny Mesa.
Shore ruled before trial that Jackson could not use the state's medical marijuana law as a defense and upheld that decision today in denying a motion for a new trial.
Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg said Jackson's actions exceeded the bounds of the medical marijuana law in opening up a retail medical marijuana store.
During trial, Lindberg said an undercover officer was able to get a medical marijuana card after complaining to a doctor about back pain.
The officer went to Answerdam on July 16, 2009, and bought 1/4-ounce of marijuana for $130, the prosecutor said.
Jackson, 32, appeared to be in charge of the business when the officer was there buying drugs, according to Lindberg.
He said officers seized drugs and other business records during a raid at the business, but Jackson was not there. According to some of the records seized, drug sales totaled $14,000 for the months of June and July 2009, Lindberg said.
In all, Jackson took in about $62,500 during the three months Answerdam was open, the prosecutor said.
Rogers said part of the problem is the vagueness of the state law, which allows medical marijuana patients to grow the drug for medicinal purposes.
The California Attorney General's Office issued guidelines in 2008 on how medical marijuana could be grown and distributed, but those guidelines are interpreted differently in different counties, Rogers said.
Another problem is "cross-sworn officers" who are charged with enforcing both state and federal law, because all marijuana possession is illegal under federal law, he said.
Jackson was acquitted last year of similar charges stemming from a raid at the Kearny Mesa collective in which an undercover detective bought marijuana in the summer of 2008.
2 People Accused Of Smuggling Marijuana
The mother and girlfriend of a Hinds County Detention Center inmate are accused of helping him smuggle marijuana into jail. The two women are charged in the same case in which detention officer Daniel Banks has been charged.
The Clarion Ledger reports 48 year old Lisa Black and 24 year old Tiffany Givens are charged with furnishing contraband into a correctional facility, possession of marijuana and conspiracy. In November, Banks was arrested for allegedly smuggling marijuana and contraband to 23-year-old Michael Black. Lisa Black and Givens were arrested on Friday and remain in the detention center. Bond had not been set Monday.
Eli Lilly Drugs Trial Causes Deaths - Cannabis Doesnt
Anti Drug Groups Protest RTD Bus Ads For Marijuana Convention
Colorado law enforcement groups are raising concerns over ads for a marijuana convention that are on RTD buses across the city. The Colorado Drug Investigators Association wrote in a letter last week to the Regional Transportation District board of directors that it worries that the ads — which promote the KushCon cannabis convention — send the wrong message. "Advertising a marijuana conference, on the sides of Colorado's main source of public transportation, will do anything but prevent further drug abuse," Jerry Peters, the association's vice president and an investigator with the North Metro Drug Task Force, wrote in the letter.
Peters asked that RTD remove the ads. On Friday, Daniel Brennan, president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, said his organization was drafting a letter to send to RTD over the ads. "We're sending mixed messages, I think, to the public and to the youth on this," said Brennan, who is also the Wheat Ridge police chief. RTD spokesman Scott Reed said Friday the ads would stay up although the transportation district told KushCon to modify them slightly to better reflect that they are paid advertisements. "It's an ad for an event that is being legally held at the Colorado Convention Center," Reed said. "There should be no implication of support or endorsement for that event."
RTD policy prohibits ads that tout illegal products or services. Because marijuana distribution is illegal federally, Reed said, RTD does not allow ads for medical-marijuana dispensaries even though medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. But KushCon despite billing itself as a "cannabis lifestyle" convention with appeal to marijuana enthusiasts — is a legal event that will not include marijuana on site. Bob Selan, chief executive of Dbdotcom, which publishes the marijuana-centric Kush Magazine and is sponsoring the convention, said the event's main purpose is to provide information to medical-marijuana patients and other curious people.
Marijuana License Fee May Increase
Layoffs in the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, raising permit fees for marijuana cooperatives and doubling zip tie fees are topics on the Board of Supervisors Tuesday agenda. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman listed seven sworn positions for layoff, as the board directed him to do during its Nov. 30 meeting. "The sheriff recommends that additional funding be allocated to the Sheriff's Office, to avoid cuts to Public Safety," Allman writes under the portion of the agenda summary marked "recommended action/motion." Allman's list includes two sergeants whose layoffs would save $61,130 and $54,044; three deputies whose layoffs would save $41,202, $36,387 and $33,608; and two corrections deputies whose layoffs would save $39,644 and $37,482.
The layoffs, if they are approved, would be effective Jan. 22. Estimated savings for the remaining 2010-11 fiscal year is $303,497, and the annual savings would be $693,138. The discussion is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. Allman is also proposing to raise the current $1,050 fee to grow up to 99 marijuana plants to $1,500, a 42-percent increase. He also proposes doubling the cost of his zip ties, which growers attach to each marijuana plant that meets legal parameters, from $25 to $50."It has been determined that the marijuana cooperative license fee process requires more time," a summary justifying the increase states. "The more accurate time estimate is 20 hours. Implementation and oversight of the permit
Pot ads on Denver buses prompt complaints
DENVER—Marijuana conference ads on Denver-area buses have law enforcement groups complaining they promote illegal drug use.
The ads for this weekend's KushCon "cannabis lifestyle" convention in Denver are believed to be the first marijuana-related advertising on public transit anywhere in the country. The ads say "Have a Kush Day!" and promote the convention. Kush is a type of marijuana and the name of the California-based sponsor, Kush Magazine.
The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and the Colorado Drug Investigators Association have complained about the ads to the Regional Transportation District.
The Denver Post reports that RTD will keep the ads, but modify them to better reflect that they are paid advertisements.
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