SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, has arranged a press conference on behalf of the defense, in front of the Hall of Justice at 330 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 12:30PM.
Last week on Wednesday, May 16th in Department 27 of San Diego Superior Court, before The Honorable Laura Parsky, a jury was selected and the trial began.
Throughout the last week, the Prosecution presented its side of the criminal trial of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis v. Dexter Padilla a navy veteran, medical marijuana patient and president of Therapeutic Healing Collective (THC), a San Diego based non profit medical marijuana coop.
The Prosecution’s entire case consisted of two witnesses from Dumanis’ Cross Jurisdiction Task Force. The Task Force is an entity Dumanis strongly supports which was formed to commandeer local law enforcement in effort to help the federal government circumvent the state’s medical marijuana laws.
In the DA’s case, San Diego Police Officer Paul Paxton and DEA Agent Lindsay Bellomy testified exhaustively to the existence of THC, a fact not disputed by the defense. Paxton also testified to the existence of marijuana at the collective’s two sites, another fact not in dispute. The Prosecution then rested, having failed to prove the illegality or even raise one instance of where Padilla was out of compliance.
Dumanis’ contention is that marijuana existed therefore a crime was committed, a position held by the federal government not the state of California, where the case is being tried.
The defense represented by attorney Michael J. McCabe, included expert witness Chris Conrad, who testified to the nature of THC’s crop, the expected yields and his expert opinion of the collective’s needs.
Also, taking the stand for the defense was THC’s General Counsel Attorney Mark Wuerfel. According to Mr. Wuerfel’s testimony, on June 17, 2010, DEA agent, Beau Bilek, led a warrant-less raid on the offices of the Redwood Law Group, Mr. Wuerefel’s firm in northern California and stole attorney client privileged records of THC’s patient files.
In his testimony, Mr. Wuerfel described, the theft, the Mendocino Superior Court’s subsequent Court Order to the DEA to return the documents, the return of the documents and their destroyed condition.
Also described by Mr. Wuerfel, were the great lengths THC went through to comply with state law in the forming of the coop. During his testimony Mr. Wuerfel introduced THC’s Articles of Incorporation, the organization’s board meeting minutes, CPA reports, tax records and the only complete patient file returned by the DEA.
On Monday, May 21, 2012, Dexter Padilla will take the stand.
Media Inquiries: Eugene Davidovich — 619-755-2093
- More Problems at DEA: Agent Implicated in Theft of Attorney Client Records in State Medical Marijuana Trial – http://www.safeaccesssd.org/2012/05/more-problems-at-dea-agent-implicated.html
- DA Bonnie Dumanis Pushes on with Prosecution of Legal San Diego Medical Marijuana Collective – http://www.safeaccesssd.org/2011/07/da-bonnie-dumanis-pushes-on-with.html
- Padilla Trial Brief – https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzB7GtZTkQ0GaXZDcm9KQWFxaW8