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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chronic City: Revealed -- California Cops Are Trained 'Marijuana Is Not A Medicine'

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge Can't we all just get along? - COURTESY EUGENEDAVIDOVICH.COM
  • Courtesy eugenedavidovich.com
  • Can't we all just get along?
A recent court case in San Diego has revealed some California police officers are basing their sworn court testimony in medical Marijuana cases on badly outdated, legally inaccurate information.

This goes a long way towards explaining why it is that so many law enforcement officers in the state still seem to harbor such personal animosity toward medical Marijuana and those who use it, even after it's been legal in the state for 13 years. Above and beyond the seemingly eternal cop/pot dichotomy, the cops' own "medical Marijuana training materials" tell them that -- contrary to the law --  there's no such thing as medical Marijuana, and that all Marijuana is illegal!

This misinformation has real-life consequences. Californians who legally use and provide medical Marijuana are faced with hostile police and judges who have only heard or choose to believe information which is plainly wrong regarding medicinal pot's legal status here, and inaccurate regarding its effectiveness as medicine, as supported by thousands of doctors and hundreds of studies.


click to enlarge Eugene Davidovich: Victim of the pot culture wars? - COURTESY EUGENEDAVIDOVICH.COM
  • Courtesy eugenedavidovich.com
  • Eugene Davidovich: Victim of the pot culture wars?
Eugene Davidovich,

a San Diego medical Marijuana provider who was arrested last February

as part of Operation Green Rx (aka Operation Endless Summer), told me

that the chief investigative officer in his case testified on the stand

that he bases his expert testimony, as far as "medical Marijuana

training," on a handout from something called the Narcotic Educational

Foundation of America, "Drug Abuse Education Provider of the California

Narcotic Officers' Association."


In this toxic little screed, with the title Use of Marijuana As A "Medicine" (the

quotes are theirs), we learn right off the bat -- in the first

sentence! -- that "Marijuana, a plant from the cannabis family, is

illegal and highly psychoactive." No mention of the fact that medical

use of Marijuana is legal, mind you -- and this in materials used to educate law enforcement officers.


I'll

bet you thought that the issue of medical Marijuana was settled when

Proposition 215 was voted in back in 1996. Not so fast! You're just a

civilian. The cops know better; and guess what? It sure looks as if the

cops get to pick which laws they like, and which ones they want to

ignore. "Marijuana IS NOT A MEDICINE," the "educational"

pamphlet screams at its gun-toting, badge-wearing readers.


click to enlarge Misinformation has consequences: Inaccurate handout used in officers' court testimony - SCREEN CAPTURE: REALITY CATCHER
  • Screen capture: Reality Catcher
  • Misinformation has consequences: Inaccurate handout used in officers' court testimony
​More than a decade after California voters spoke loudly and clearly on

the topic, these folks just aren't giving up the pot culture wars.

You'd think the "medical Marijuana training" of law enforcement

officers might include the rather pertinent fact of its legality -- you know, seems like that would merit at least a mention. Reading the sordid little hate-filled

pamphlet, you keep expecting to eventually encounter some level-headed

caveat for these eager officers, some kind of sensitivity training,

some sort of warning that since Marijuana is, in fact, legal in this state for medical use, that officers must be careful to protect the rights of patients. But it never comes.


"Many

well-intentioned leaders and members of the public have been misled by

the well-financed and organized pro-drug legalization lobby, into

believing there is merit to their argument that smoking Marijuana is a

safe and effective medicine," the pamphlet informs officers. "There is no justification for using Marijuana as a medicine."


Once

the officers have been, er, "trained" as to the illegitimacy of medical

Marijuana, they are dutifully informed that it is just ever so immoral

and icky as well. "We have seen first hand the debilitating and often

tragic results, both psychologically and physically, of those who

choose intoxication as a part of their lifestyle," the pamphlet laments

in one particularly purple passage.


The

pamphlet then attempts to cloak its (legally incorrect for California)

estimation of Marijuana's uselessness as medicine and its enormous

moral judgments around the weed in some sort of scientific

respectability by citing outdated studies, all of which have been since

refuted by more modern findings.


"It is

actually scary what goes on in court," Davidovich told me. "I really

hope that somehow a stop can be put to this. This is one of the reasons

I am so public about these hateful people. There are a lot of patients

who are needlessly suffering here in San Diego."


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Steve Elliott

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