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Jovan Jackson’s Conviction Overturned in San Diego – Dispensaries Have the Right to Operate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by highboldtage

A big win for ASA in San Diego

Joe Elford

California’s 4th District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of San Diego medical cannabis provider Jovan Jackson today. The decision in People v. Jackson recognizes the right of medical cannabis dispensaries to exist and provide medicine to patient-members.  The decision further clarifies that members can participate in the association though financial contributions (sales) alone. This is an important milestone, because until now, some law enforcement and law makers all have refused to acknowledge that patients can organize cooperative and collective associations that sell medical marijuana. Today’s decision may have far-reaching implications for local and state implementation and regulation of medical marijuana.


Jovan Jackson was first arrested for providing medical cannabis in the City of San Diego in 2008. He was prosecuted for cannabis possession and sales and acquitted by the jury. San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a steadfast opponent of medical cannabis, retried him on the same charges in 2009. In that case, Superior Court Judge Howard Shore denied Mr. Jackson the right to use California’s medical cannabis laws as a defense in court. Judge Shore referred to medical cannabis as “dope” and called state medical cannabis laws a “sham” during the trial.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) took Mr. Jackson’s appeal last year, because we knew this case was important for the future of safe access in California. Medical cannabis opponents have argued steadfastly that every member of a patients’ association must physically participate in the cultivation of plants and that no member can buy medicine. ASA disagreed, and this was just the case to settle the issue. Relying heavily on People v. Colvin, a prior appellate decision in the California’s 2nd District, the court ruled that

“Jackson was only required to produce evidence which would create a reasonable doubt as to whether the defense provided by the [Medical Marijuana Program Act] had been established… the collective or cooperative association required by the act need not include active participation by all members in the cultivation process but may be limited to financial support by way of marijuana purchases from the organization. Thus, contrary to the trial court’s ruling, the large membership of Jackson’s collective, very few of whom participated in the actual cultivation process, did not, as a matter of law, prevent Jackson from presenting an MMPA defense.”

The California Attorney General may decide to appeal the Jackson decision, and ASA will be ready to fight this case all the way to the state Supreme Court. Regardless of what comes next in court, patients should hope lawmakers are listening to court today. California votes called on state officials to “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana” when they approved Proposition 215 in 1996. State lawmakers tried to further clarify the issue when the adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003. That bill explicitly allowed collective and cooperative associations and provided for reimbursements for medicine.  It is past time for prosecutors like Ms. Dumanis, local law makers, and state representatives to stop stall and start regulating.


ASA – Americans for Safe Access Employment Opportunity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by highboldtage

Field Coordinator, Oakland, CA

May 26th, 2009
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to overcome barriers and create policies that improve access to cannabis for patients and researchers. We have more than 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

ASA provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals and policymakers throughout the United States. We also organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. Our successful lobbying, media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines

The mission of Americans for Safe Access is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic uses and research.

Position: Field Coordinator

The field coordinator is responsible for building and maintaining ASA’s field of organizers, and for maintaining communication between the field, ASA staff and ASA campaigns. The position is supervised and accountable to the Chief of Staff. This is a full-time, salaried position, based out of our Oakland, CA headquarters.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Build the Field (35%)

1. Recruit new volunteer organizers and manage their development
2. Reach out to field organizers from other organizations and to other key allies
3. Schedule and staff tabling outreach at public events and conferences
4. Follow up with new contacts from public events and conferences
5. Conduct web and email outreach
6. Collect new contacts through internet, personal, and chapter-based outreach
7. Add new emails to email lists regularly

Maintain the Field (35%)

1. Maintain regular communication with key organizers & chapter leaders including convening monthly organizer conference calls
2. Provide information, guidance, assistance, and training to local leadership
3. Maintain project and program-based materials and distribute to organizers
4. Maintain relationships with field organizers from other organizations with other key allies
5. Maintain internet responsibilities including updating the website, managing listserves and discussion forums, and utilizing social networking tools
6. Send monthly action packet to organizers
7. Coordinate regular trainings
8. Visit chapters and affiliates as needed
9. Maintain clear records of organizers, including updating contact information and tracking communication and activities

Integrate & Innovate (Liaison with campaigns, field & staff) (30%)

1. Advise and participate in strategic planning with chapter leaders and key organizers
2. Liaison with staff through regular meetings
3. Set up constituent meetings on legislation
4. Coordinate grassroots actions based on current programs, projects and campaigns
5. Organize court support for medical marijuana defendants
6. Write campaign materials, activist alerts, updates, and letters to organizers
7. Create and maintain political materials for national and state-based outreach
8. Write regular reports of grassroots activity for distribution to staff and the public
9. Post to blog and discussion forums regularly

Experience and Qualifications:

• Minimum 2-5 years experience in grassroots organizing;
• Political campaign and/or lobbying experience preferred;
• Commitment to the mission and goals of Americans for Safe Access;
• Computer literate, and comfortable with acquiring new skills;
• Exceptional time management and prioritization skills; calm under pressure;
• Flexible at setting (and re-setting) priorities and managing multiple projects;
• Exceptional communication, organizational and diplomacy skills with strong written communication skills;
• Sense of humor, high ethical professional standards, and multi-cultural perspective;
• Works well in team environment;
• Flexible schedule, including availability to work occasional evenings and weekends, and to travel periodically throughout the state and nationally;
• Dedicated to working closely and cooperatively in a community-based organization with diverse staff, volunteers, and community members.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to

No phone calls or faxes please.
We are an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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