Jovan Jackson of Answerdam Collective is a medical cannabis patient, navy veteran, and victim of two Operation Green Rx raids, part of District Attorney (DA) Bonnie Dumanis' effort to overturn Proposition 215 and eradicate safe access to medical cannabis in San Diego.
The first raid on Answerdam occurred in August of 2008, the second on September 9, 2009, the same day that over a dozen other collectives were raided in San Diego.
In December of 2009, Mr. Jackson was dragged through the judicial system on charges related to the first, August 2008 raid, which resulted in a jury trial and Mr. Jackson being vindicated on all five medical marijuana related charges. Chris Lindbergh the prosecutor in the case was scolded by the jury for bringing such a case to trial.
Charges related to the 9/9/9 raid however, have not yet been litigated.
Most in San Diego, as well as around the state that followed Jackson’s trial were certain DA Bonnie Dumanis would not continue with the prosecution, as another trial against Mr. Jackson would expose her real political agenda and desire to overturn Proposition 215.
Dumanis’ office however, maintains they intend to proceed with their full prosecutorial might.
Much like the first trial, Jackson intends to fight vehemently against these charges. This time around, much more than the DA’s desire to subvert state law will be exposed.
Everything in the DA’s investigation leading up to the raid and subsequent trial of Mr. Jackson, seems to point to a deeply rooted racial profiling practice as well as an outright discrimination against Mr. Jackson as a result of him being black.
On the 11th of February at another hearing, Jackson’s attorney will argue Colleteral Estoppel; also known as ‘Double Jeopardy’. That day, the court will be asked to consider that a “later prosecution will necessarily entail a grossly absurd and unjust result”, as Mr. Jackson has already been vindicated of all charges related to operating a legal medical marijuana collective.
On the 19th of February, Mr. Jackson will go to court to request the judge order the return of all property stolen from Answerdam Collective by the NTF during the August 2008 raid.
It is an outrage that Mr. Jackson faces a second trial while some white victims of the September 9th 2009 raids are receiving orders from judges to get their stolen property back.
On February 22th 2009 at the preliminary hearing for the second trial, Lance Rogers Attorney for Jackson, will argue a motion to dismiss the case based on prosecutorial discrimination; otherwise known as a Murgia Motion.
The motion will show how Mr. Jackson was deliberately singled out for prosecution on the basis of his race. The Cross Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force (NTF) has been investigating Mr. Jackson for two years during which “at least ten (10) non-black suspects actively involved in the possession, sales, distribution, and transportation of marijuana” were also investigated, yet no charges were brought forward nor any other suspects prosecuted.
The motion goes on to read “When Answerdam was raided in 2008 and 2009, non-black individuals were detained at the scene. However, only the black members were arrested and prosecuted. Law enforcement obtained detailed registries listing all 1,649 members of Answerdam. The only persons charged by the DA's office are black males”.
In addition to the prosecutorial discrimination, the DA’s office investigations and prosecutions of medical marijuana patients seem to be discriminatory by design. Whereas over a dozen other medical marijuana collectives were raided on 9/9/9, of those arrested, only two individuals have been prosecuted in state court. “The District Attorney's Office has offered no explanation as to why these two black men are the only persons currently being prosecuted”.
Patients, concerned citizens, and people from both sides of the political isle are outraged that there is racism and discrimination in the DA’s office which encourages and controls the Narcotics Task Force responsible for executing these raids.
SD ASA caught up with Mr. Jackson several weeks ago at Answerdam Collective where he said “DA Dumanis and her team of lawyers and narcotics officers seem to be dedicated to overturning state law, but I will fight as long as it takes for both mine and Answerdam Collective member’s rights”.
Thousands of dollars are being spent on vindictive, prejudicial politically motivated prosecutions. Will Bonnie Dumanis learn to respect state law, or will the jury have to convince her multiple times that the prosecutions need to end? It would seem that at the expense of our tax dollars the jurors will have to prove multiple times that Medical Marijuana is law, before Bonnie Dumanis changes her tune.
The community is grateful to Answerdam Collective for helping to provide safe access to medical marijuana in San Diego, as well as to Mr. Jackson for standing up for our rights.
Come out and support Jovan Jackson in court!
(220 W. Broadway, San Diego CA 92101)
- February 11, 9:00am – Department 11
- February 22, 8:30am - Department 11
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