Aug 23 2008

Just another day in paradise

Posted by J. Craig Canada in marijuana tickets, marijuana trial, tickets, trial

On the 11th & 12th I had court dates and I’ve tried to write about the results here several times. But every time it seems easier to bury myself entering data into my genealogy database or divert myself commenting on news items on the local newspaper’s website. And, by the way, they aren’t newspapers any more are they? What, exactly are they now? NewsSites?

On the 11th I appeared to be arraigned for possession of concentrated marijuana, i.e. hash. Code § H&S 11357(a), which was declared covered under Proposition 215 by the Attorney General in 2003. The incident where I was arrested, jailed, and held for bail is described in Bridge to Nowhere. The only thing that doesn’t make this a slam-dunk dismissal is that I didn’t have any documentation on me at the time. But Simms, one of the officers who arrested me on this last occasion was also one of the officers who cited me previously for possession of marijuana, and stole about an 1/8th an ounce from me, along with my pipe, in March, 5 months previous. And the fact is when I asked if they would go up to my room with me (overlooking the courtyard where I was arrested), Forbus responded that it would not be safe for them.

I was jailed and held on $1,000 bail and it cost me $110 to get out. And when I got home the maids had pulled the curtains and blinds open, and the window was raised wide, and I think some things blew out the window. I have my desk under the window. I think one of the things that was on my desk before I left the room and that blew out the window was the minute order with the scribble on it about getting a test for communicable diseases. I have spent hours going through my papers on two occassions looking for that minute order and can’t find it. But I have all the others. I don’t have a clear memory yet of that order being on the desk before I left my room that day, but I think it was.

I appeared to be arraigned on this most recent charge of possession of concentrated cannabis on July 21st and the D.A. asked for more time claiming the case was pending review, which the judge granted. I appeared again on August 11th and the same thing happened. This time the D.A. informed me before the judge entered the court room that this was what they were going to do, and they dealt with my case first which I perceived to be a courtesy.

However, I was angry because they don’t have a case, no jury is ever going to convict me, and I believe it is just a ploy to avoid returning my medicine. The judge at first would not let me speak, but I did ask how long the D.A. could continue to call me in for arraignment and ask for more time to review the case and the judge responded the statute of limitations is 1 year. To which I replied “This constitutes harassment”, got my paperwork and left.

There is no date to appear on any paperwork I have, nor have I been informed of one, so I am most curious how I am supposed to know when the D.A. has decided whether or not to do something about this. After a bench-warrant has been issued and I have been jailed for failure to appear?

The next day things went pretty much as I expected on the peeing charge. I was found guilty by commissioner Baskett, and I may appeal. I had requested a lawyer and a jury, and had been denied both. I did my best to present a necessity defense as I believe that it was a matter of necessity and the fact is I had to pee there and then and the only question was whether I peed in my pants and all over myself or not. And the reason I wasn’t indoors and didn’t have a toilet in the first place was that I was a medical marijuana patient.

I had disqualified Baskett numerous times previously on sleeping citations as I have been informed she has a track record of discriminating against the homeless. But during my window to disqualify her on this citation I was overwhelmed and depressed with all the charges, court dates, and pending trials to go through, and I figured they were going to get me for something or other no matter what I did and there was no point in disqualifying her yet again.

Whether I appeal or not I will have to pay the penalty, and I opted for community service over a fine of $80. So my fine is 11 hours community service and I am told it will cost me $35.

I’ve also been diagnosed as diabetic and when I saw the doctor for a follow up Wednesday I mentioned the deal and the test for communicable diseases.

In case you’re lost at this point, previous to the above mentioned incidents I had been cited for battery (spitting) and possession of marijuana. That is all described in Hang Tight and Double Crossed?. The upshot of those charges is that after a hung jury on the first charge of battery I was offered a deal and strongly encouraged to accept it by my public defender. It was only after I accepted that I realized this would mean it would be a year before I got back the just less than an ounce they took from me Thanksgiving, and the 1/8th ounce they took from me in March, and the pipes, lighters, COFFEE CUP, and so forth that they have stolen from me on a public street in broad daylight.

While I haven’t been able to find the minute order it was made clear to me that Emeline would not know what to do with a minute order with something scribbled on it about communicable diseases. And I was asked what communicable diseases, as it was pointed out to me that there are thousands. When I mentioned it was about spitting they rolled their eyes and said spit isn’t a vector for transmission. Which is something I knew and had forgotten. The fact is I researched this years ago and there is voluminous documentation that saliva is not a transmission vector for disease, most of the research conducted over fears of spreading AIDS.

And if you think about it, it makes sense as saliva is the first thing to come in contact with everything that goes into your body. It’s function is to neutralize what you eat so that it won’t harm you, and break it down.

And then there’s the fact that it’s nine months after the incident.

The nurse gave me his card and told me to have my lawyer call him, and I stopped by the Public Defender’s office on the way home. The receptionist told me my case had been moved to a different attorney, but she wasn’t in and so Sarah spoke with me, took the phone number of the nurse, and left a note for my new public defender to call me. She hasn’t called yet but I probably shouldn’t expect a call till the first of the week.

I’m to appear on the 29th with this new pubic defender, ostensibly to present the results of a test for communicable disease. Already made is a court date on the 9th of July 2009, the date on which I assume the charges were to be dismissed. At this point it seems clear to me that the only way I am to get my property back and clear myself is to either reject or violate the deal and demand a trial, for all three charges if necessary.

It also seems to me that this is harassment and that the law is being misused in order to abuse and intimidate me.

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