Above: Dexter Padilla, former medical marijuana co-op president, and Eugene Davidovich, San Diego spokesperson for the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, talk to KPBS.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, Joanne Faryon, Claire Trageser
Dexter Padilla is not what most would consider a typical medical marijuana grower. He’s a Navy veteran and former real estate broker. But after a car accident he began to use medical marijuana and then started his own co-op that served 3,000 patients.
Last year Padilla was arrested for possession even though he says he followed California’s rules for growing medical marijuana.
“I went ahead and got my medical marijuana card from the county department of health, I went above board as far as hiring a tax attorney as well as a CPA to make sure my books were in order and absolute impeccable record keeping.”
The city of San Diego has no zoning ordinance and therefore a de facto ban on dispensaries, while a federal crackdown has shut dispensaries here and across the state.
Padilla’s case ended in a hung jury was eventually dismissed.
Eugene Davidovich, a spokesperson for the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access said the dismissal was a victory for all medical marijuana patients in San Diego.
“This was truly a horrendous prosecution, it’s an example of this continued fierce fight against patients right here in San Diego.”
Padilla said his co-op will remain shut down, which means his members do not have a safe place to access their medical marijuana.