Medical Marijuana Advocates Welcome Long Awaited Change in Banking Policy for Licensed Businesses

Advocates vow to continue pressure on Obama Administration to establish comprehensive medical marijuana policy


 | Kris Hermes

Washington, D.C. — Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new memorandum issued today by the U.S. Departments of Treasury (DOT) and Justice (DOJ) giving long-awaited guidance to financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to provide services to marijuana-related businesses in states where it’s legal. A refusal to engage in these services has plagued medical marijuana businesses for years, dating back to the Bush Administration. Due to an aggressive accelerated policy under Obama Administration, States like California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan and others have been forced to deal in large amounts of cash.

Click Here For The Rest Of The Story


Court Support Request for Chang, Pilotte and Co-Defendants


WHAT: Chang, Pilotte and Co-Defendants – Motion to Challenge Legality of Wire Tap WHEN: Monday September 10, 2012 at 2:00PM WHERE: Dept. 5, on the 3rd Flr. of the San Diego Federal Courthouse, 940 Front St. at Broadway, San Diego, CA, 92101

On September 10 th , 2012, Ronnie Chang, Hal Pilotte and co-defendants: James Brand, Gary Maddox, Peter Suhan and Amanda Ventura ( all allegedly connected to Club One Collective/ Extreme Holistic Care) will be in court with their attorneys Michael McCabe, Paul Turner, Knut Johnson, James Dicks and Mark Bluemel, this time to argue motions challenging the legality of the wire tap used in this case.

McCabe, of the successful state court medical cannabis cases: Davidovich (who was acquitted of all charges) and Padilla (who was exonerated when the Honorable Laura Parsky dismissed all charges in the interest of justice), wrote and will argue the motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the wire tap.

Ronnie, Hal and co-defendants were victims of the 9/9/09 raids on cannabis collectives in San Diego County. A widespread and brutal attack on legal cannabis patients, the raids were part of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ senseless destruction of the public safety collectives provide the community.

Ronnie, a legal medical cannabis patient and the sole defendant in the case to remain in custody, was also in court Tuesday, August 21, 2012 with his attorney, Michael J. McCabe and a room full of patient advocates, to provide the court an update that collateral for his bond was not met, cutting off possibility of a pre-trail release for Ronnie.

Ronnie had been arrested following the raid of Club One Collective/Extreme Holistic Care in San Marcos but was able to post bail as were all five defendants in the case. Subsequently, Ronnie’s bond was pulled due to an audit of the bond company which uncovered the unsecured nature of his bond. In June, the bondsman was forced to take Ronnie into custody because of the unsecured bond. The U.S. prosecution, Paul Starita, denied knowledge of the audit but continues to pressure for a plea.

It is unclear why Ronnie, Hal and their co-defendants have been charged in federal court when this is a state’s issue.

Another victim of the 9/9/09 raids, James Stacy, was also charged in federal court last year. The threat of jury nullification secured a “no-prison” plea bargain and James is now off probation and back to work.

One wonders how much public money is spent on these cases that end in prosecutorial fear that a conviction will not be met due to jury nullification – a right of jurors to exonerate victims of unjust laws.

Like James Stacy’s prosecutor learned, it will be a challenge to seat a jury of 12 who believe people belong in jail for using and providing sick people a safe alternative to life destroying pharmaceuticals.

The September 10 th hearing is paramount to the case. If there ever was a time to be present and represent the voice of patients who are dismayed over the brutality of the federal government on the issue of safe legal access to medical cannabis, this will be the day.

Please consider attending this important hearing.

A note from Hal and Ann Pilotte: As most of you know I (Hal) am facing some serious Federal charges fabricated by the United States Assistant District Attorney Paul Starita and the DEA, over what I was doing as a volunteer at a State Legal Medical Marijuana Collective.

On September 10th at 2:00 PM in the Federal Court Building on the corner of Front Street and Broadway in San Diego, on the third floor with Judge Anello presiding, the first motions hearings are going to be held regarding the misleading statements of DEA agents and Sheriffs as to what a State Legal Medical Marijuana Collective is in order to get a Magistrate to issue warrants for wire tap and search and seizure, along with many other misleading statements and many omissions of facts which lead to my arrest and the arrest of others in this case. In other words, The FED’s and Cops mislead the Judge who issued the warrant and our Attorney Michael McCabe has filled a motion to suppress the warrants and evidence obtained by them in which these officials lied to the Judge in order to obtain.

I am asking all of my family and friends to please come and support me on this important day in court. If at all possible, and if time permits, your presence in the courtroom will make a clear statement to the misleading and corrupt prosecuting team. In addition, I would love for my friends to really hear the truth about this case and see the injustice first hand.

For those of you in the North County who can make it to the hearing, Colleen McCall has information on Coaster times for those who would like to go down with the group who are attending the hearing. It’s a good idea to be there by 1:15 PM in order to get in the court in time. Colleen’s phone number is (760) 295-9399. Thank you all for your support! All of Our Love, Hal and Ann Pilotte

See you there! Terrie Best, San Diego ASA Court Support Coordinator –

Articles on this case:

Keep current on the case by following the Facebook event:

“When you’re a lawman & you’re dealing with people, it’s best not to go by the book, but to go by the heart.” ~ Sheriff Andy Taylor, Mayberry, NC

Judge dismisses case against head of marijuana dispensary… U-T San Diego

Story by Greg Moran Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Union Tribune San Diego

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego judge has dismissed all charges against the president of a medical marijuana dispensary following a weeklong trial that ended with a hung jury.

After declaring a mistrial, Superior Court Judge Laura Parsky took the unusual step on Thursday of dismissing the case against Dexter Padilla.

Padilla was charged with possession and cultivation of marijuana in January 2011 in his role as president of Therapeutic Healing Corp., which was on Holiday Court in La Jolla. The drug was grown at a San Marcos warehouse.

The jury said it was hung 7-5 in favor of guilt.

Parsky said she dismissed the charges in the interest of justice because the defense had presented enough evidence that Padilla was complying with the state’s medical marijuana law.

He argued he was immune from the charges under the state’s medical marijuana law, which allows growing and using the drug by qualified patients and caregivers for medical purposes.

Before launching his cooperative, Padilla took steps to assure it complied with the state law, said his lawyer, Michael McCabe. Padilla had consulted with lawyers, accountants and tax professionals, and set up the dispensary as a licensed, nonprofit medical marijuana cooperative.

McCabe said that prosecutors argued Therapeutic Healing Corp., with some 3,000 members, was too large to fit the legal definition of a nonprofit. The prosecution also contended the state guidelines for medical marijuana cooperatives require that anyone claiming to be a member has to participate in some way in the growing, cultivating and distribution of the marijuana.

McCabe argued that a February appeals court decision in Los Angeles said that kind of participation by patients is not required under the law. The state Supreme Court affirmed that decision on May 23 — when Padilla’s case was going on — by declining to review the decision.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Tuesday the office has “no intention” of appealing Parsky’s decision, effectively ending the case.

Padilla’s dispensary no longer operates, McCabe said. Almost all medical marijuana outlets in the county have closed following a federal crackdown on them. Marijuana is not legal under federal law for any purpose.

Mistrial Declared in Medical Marijuana Trial; Judge Dismisses Refilling of Charges In The Interest of Justice

Mistrial Declared in Medical Marijuana Trial; Judge Dismisses Refilling of Charges In The Interest of Justice

Dexter and Mariesol Padilla

By: Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Another devastating blow to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ fierce fight against medical marijuana patients; Judge Parsky declared a mistrial after the jury was hopelessly deadlocked.
SAN DIEGO – On May 16th, twelve jurors and two alternates were selected in the trial of DA Bonnie Dumanis v. Dexter Padilla, navy veteran, medical marijuana patient and president of Therapeutic Healing, a San Diego based non profit medical marijuana coop.

The jury began deliberations on Tuesday, May 22, after a long week of arguments and testimony from experts and the defendant, Dexter Padilla.

Two notes were turned in by the jury less then an hour after deliberations. The first was a request for the defendant’s testimony to be read and the second was a concern from all the jurors about juror #10 being hostile, refusing to participate, and preventing everyone from working towards a verdict.

After hearing from both sides about this issue and interviewing the foreman of the jury, Judge Parsky decided to admonish the jurors to be courteous to one another and sent them back to the jury room to continue deliberating. Within nineteen minutes of the second attempt at deliberations another note came in from the jury raising the same concerns about juror #10. Once again the judge interviewed the foreman, heard from the defense and prosecution, as well as disruptive juror #10. This time however, both sides were asking for the juror to be replaced with an alternate.  The judge agreed and an alternate was selected.

Judge Parsky then brought the entire panel into the courtroom, dismissed juror #10 and instructed the new panel to start deliberations from scratch. By the time jurors began the second round of deliberations it was 3pm, and less than an hour to reach a decision was not enough.

Deliberations resumed yesterday at 9am. By 2:15 pm the jurors once again sent a note to the Judge. Everyone including the attorneys, defendant, his family and all the supporters rushed to court to find out what the note stated.

By 2:45pm court was in session and Judge Parsky revealed that the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and could not reach a verdict. After a few brief questions the Judge dismissed all the jurors, thanked them for their service, and proceeded to declare a mistrial, concluding the two charges would be dismissed.

Before the judge could finish uttering the word ‘mistrial,’ Deborah LaTouche, the deputy DA assigned to the case, was falling over herself to announce she would be re-filing both charges.

Michael McCabe, attorney for the defense, urged the court to dismiss the new charges in the interest of justice, citing the prosecution had not come close to reaching their burden of proof, and Padilla had been in full compliance with State’s medical marijuana laws.

Judge Parsky agreed, and in a very rare move dismissed both counts in the interest of justice citing the prosecution was bordering on ‘disingenuous’ in the way they presented their arguments in this case. The defendant, supporters, and everyone in court aside from the DA were overjoyed at the decision.

“Today, justice was served and Dumanis’ bias driven effort to chip away at the states medical marijuana program saw yet another defeat” said Terrie Best, court support coordinator for San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Dumanis tried Padilla on the basis he did not have all the coop’s documents together, which was the reason LaTouche used in her closing arguments in an attempt to prove guilt. The most outrageous part about LaTouche using the documents in her closing is all the records she claimed were not present, were the very records offered to her prior to trial, and the very records looted by the DEA in an unlawful raid on Mark Wuerfel’s office, the general counsel for Therapeutic Healing.

The fact that Judge Parsky dismissed the case in the interest of justice sends a strong message to Bonnie Dumanis’ office that Padilla is immune from prosecution as matter of law, and it would be impossible for them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was out of compliance.

“The Judge’s ruling shows this case never should have been tried in the first place and that Dumanis has a vendetta against qualified patients coming together in a lawful manner,” said Mark Wuerfel. “It underscores the malicious way in which the tax payers money is being squandered to try and put innocent people in prison where all they are trying to do is follow the law”.

After the conclusion of the trial, Deborah LaTouche was seen requesting transcripts from the court recorder signaling Dumanis’ office was considering an appeal, further proving the vindictive nature of Dumanis’ war on patients.

Bonnie Dumanis’ complete disregard for state law is a slap in the face to the will of the people, as well as all the patients who use Prop 215 and the State’s medical marijuana laws to protect themselves from overzealous prosecutors like Dumanis.

As a result of the amazing work of Michael J. McCabe, the criminal defense attorney representing Padilla, attorney Mark Wuerfel and his willingness to stand up for his client, and the dedication of patient advocates with San Diego Americans for Safe Access, the community saw justice served in court yesterday.

Original Article located here.