Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

March 11, 2010
San Diego case focuses debate on legality of medical pot sales

Now that a Sacramento jury has rendered a felony conviction in a criminal case that raised questions over reasonable personal use for medical pot, a major test stirs in San Diego over whether marijuana collectives are illegal sales operations.

Undercover police officers with physicians' recommendations for medicinal weed targeted Donna Lambert, a 49-year-old cancer survivor who ran a marijuana network that provided home deliveries to medical users.

Now Lambert, who operated "The Women's Health Cooperative," is due to go on trial April 13 on seven felony counts, including illegal sales of marijuana.

She is a major focus of a legal push by the San Diego County district attorney's office. It argues that medical marijuana dispensaries and other patient collectives have no right to sell their product.

"The model doesn't comport with the law," said Deputy District Attorney Steve Walter. "It is using the medical marijuana law to justify a lot of people getting high. All they're doing is paying their dues and buying marijuana."

Lambert has become a high-profile activist, celebrated by anti-drug war groups including the Drug Policy Alliance and the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana laws.

"This is very much a political issue in San Diego," said Marl Felsen, a NORML attorney representing Lambert. "There have been very targeted efforts to drive medical marijuana out of San Diego."

Lambert's trial is the second major pot case to come up in San Diego. In December, a jury acquitted Navy veteran Jovan Jackson of possession and sales of marijuana for operating a dispensary called Answerdam Alternative Care.

Walter said similar prosecutions will continue.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


About Weed Wars

Peter Hecht

From its pot fields to politics, California is the epicenter for America's marijuana discussion. This blog covers news, trends and people of the California marijuana story.

Contact reporter Peter Hecht at phecht@sacbee.com

» See the sacbee.com marijuana topics page

Marijuana news on sacbee.com

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

December 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31