Jeff Smith 6:35 p.m., June 27
Filner speaks out against gag order in federal pot case
Mayor Bob Filner, long a friend of the medical marijuana community and thus foe of U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, came out this afternoon denouncing a gag order imposed by a federal court judge against the lawyer of a former dispensary operator facing over 60 charges stemming from a September 2009 raid on his San Marcos collective.
Collective operator Ronnie Chang and the advocacy group San Diego Americans for Safe Access believe Chang is facing “retaliation for fighting a law suit the City of San Marcos filed against Mr. Chang’s collective,” according to a release from the group. State charges in his case were dropped and were brought instead in federal court.
In March, Americans for Safe Access posted a video of Chang’s attorney Michael McCabe criticizing the prosecution in the case, stating among other things that Chang believes he “is being singled out as a scapegoat in order to intimidate others.”
Following the video’s release, prosecutor Paul Starita filed a gag order to prevent McCabe from speaking in public about Chang’s situation until the case is brought to trial on June 4.
To this, Filner takes offense.
“Fortunately the gag order doesn’t apply to me,” Filner told a group of reporters assembled outside the federal courthouse downtown on Monday afternoon (May 20), as a hearing on the gag order motion was scheduled to be heard inside. He went on to reaffirm his view that such prosecution shouldn’t even be taking place at the federal level in states that have approved the use of marijuana within their borders.
“The public doesn’t even want the federal government to step in, they’ve told us with referendum after referendum . . . I hope the people who form our juries will say ‘enough is enough.’”
More like this:
- Operator of marijuana collectives sues lawyer who helped set them up — Oct. 3, 2013
- Medical marijuana proponents petition for removal of US Attorney Duffy — Feb. 28, 2013
- Filner ends pot dispensary crackdown; U.S. Attorney Duffy yet to respond — Jan. 10, 2013
- Former Medical Marijuana Dispensary Manager Files Appeal — Nov. 23, 2011
- Marijuana Advocacy Group Sues Obama Administration — Oct. 27, 2011