Press Conference with Mayor Bob Filner
When: 2:00PM – Monday, May 20, 2013 – Mayor’s Press Conference to Follow
Where: Dept. 5, on the 3rd Flr. of the San Diego Federal Courthouse,
940 Front St. at Broadway, San Diego, CA, 92101
By Americans For Safe Access – San Diego Chapter / ASA
Ronnie Chang is a state legal medical cannabis patient, an alleged former collective operator and victim of the 9/9/09 raids on cannabis collective in San Diego County. A widespread and brutal attack on legal cannabis patients, the raids were part of a joint effort by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to senselessly destroy the public safety collectives provide the community.
Presumably in retaliation for fighting a law suit the City of San Marcos filed against Mr. Chang’s collective, the state charges in his case were dropped and he was charged federally. He now faces over 60 counts involving the operation of his state legal medical cannabis collective.
Mr. Chang had been out on Federal bond but last year his bail was revoked and he has been in custody awaiting trial ever since. His ailing mother whose care he was responsible for has been struggling to maintain her health and avoid eviction from her residence. Without Mr. Chang’s help, it has been difficult for Mrs. Chang.
Several months ago, San Diego Americans for Safe Access filmed a video of Mr. Chang’s attorney, Michael J. McCabe discussing the politically motivated, vindictive prosecution of Mr. Chang by US Attorney Laura Duffy’s office. [Go here to see video]
Following the release of the video the U.S. prosecutor Paul Starita, filed a gag order motion to deny Mr. McCabe’s First Amendment rights and prevent him from speaking about Ronnie Chang’s case until the conclusion of his trial which is set for June 4, 2013.
The gag order motion will be heard Monday, May 20th at 2:00 in the Federal Courthouse.
Showing great leadership, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has taken up the issue of safe access to medical cannabis in the city and since he was elected in November has vocalized his support and made himself available to advise the medical cannabis community.
Upon learning of the Chang case, Mayor Filner spoke with Terrie Best, San Diego Americans for Safe Access Court Support Coordinator and issued the following statement on Thursday, May 16, 2013:
“In cases like these, where Ronnie Chang will face a jury of his peers, jurors may be faced with decisions about unjust laws. There is a mechanism for the peoples’ will to prevail. It is called jury nullification and holds that jurors have a right and even a duty to vote their conscience if they feel the government is engaged in injustice. In voting to acquit victims of unjust laws, jurors cannot be punished for their verdicts.”
Terrie Best points to a website, www.Fija.org (Fully Informed Jury Association) where the public is encouraged to read about jury nullification, its history and why our forefathers set up the jury of twelve peers trial system in order to protect against tyranny of government.
The Mayor will speak at a press conference in front of the Federal Courthouse directly following the gag order hearing on Monday at 2pm. All press and medical cannabis patients are encouraged to attend.
For more information please contact: Terrie Best, San Diego ASA Court Support Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org