Scott Marks 2:48 p.m., May 23
Medical Marijuana Activist Files Complaint Against Anti-Pot Groups
Eugene Davidovich, a medical marijuana proponent, has filed complaints against "Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana" and "Safe Beaches for San Diego Yes on D." The complaints have been submitted to the Fair Political Practices Commission, district attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ Integrity Unit, and the San Diego Ethics Commission.
Eugene Davidovich, the San Diego chair of Americans for Safe Access, filed the 70-page documents, which allege numerous violations against Scott Chipman, William Lowe, and other principal members of the accused organizations. Complaints include failure to disclose payments for mass campaign literature and failure to register as lobbyists, among other items.
Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana was founded in 2010 by Chipman and Lowe for the purpose of defeating Proposition 19, a ballot measure that sought to drastically liberalize marijuana law in the state. Safe Beaches for San Diego was an earlier campaign that backed the local Proposition D, the third attempt to ban alcohol from San Diego beaches and first successful campaign. A statement from Chipman remains posted on the group’s www.safebeaches.org website.
“Mr. Chipman has a lengthy and significant history of involvement in San Diego politics throughout which he failed to disclose various campaign activities and appears to have created an illegal political slush fund” says Davidovich.
Chipman and fellow marijuana opponent Marcie Beckett have moved on to form San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods. The group protests the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries, with Beckett herself having lodged nearly 100 police complaints against various dispensaries. While Beckett says she actually filed the complaint language once and attached a list of 94 dispensaries against which she was complaining, the city considered each storefront listed as a separate complaint.
Davidovich brought the complaints regarding illegal use of funds as San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods and Chipman individually have begun backing the mayoral campaign of Dumanis. Chipman has also donated money to Lorie Zapf and other anti-marijuana candidates, according to the group.
Update (10:55 a.m. 7/19/11) - Clarifications were made to the original article, which had implied Davidovich was working on behalf of Americans for Safe Access in filing the complaints. He was acting as a private citizen.