|Dispensary manager Jovan Jackson faces sentencing today for ecstasy and Xanax.|
The manager of a San Diego medical marijuana dispensary will be sentenced today for illegal possession of prescription drug Xanax and the street drug Ecstasy.
Although 31-year-old Jovan Jackson was acquitted of marijuana possession and sale, he still possibly faces more than three years in prison because of the Xanax and ecstasy. However, he’ll probably only get probation, said Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg, according to San Diego’s 10News.com.
Jackson’s case was the first to go to trial after law enforcement raids in September resulted in 31 arrests and 14 medical marijuana collectives being shut down in San Diego. His arrest had an earlier genesis, though, resulting from raids last year at Answerdam Alternative Care Collective in Kearny Mesa.
Jurors who spoke to reporters after the verdicts were read Dec. 1 said the laws were vague regarding sales from marijuana collectives, prompting them to find the defendant not guilty on the pot-related charges.
Medical marijuana advocates interpreted the verdicts as a rebuke to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and local police officials. Aggressive medical marijuana enforcement has been a prioirity for Dumanis’ office.
|San Diego District Attorney’s Office|
|Prosecutor Chris Lindberg: “This case is about making money”|
Deputy D.A. Chris Lindberg had tried to convince jurors that the case against Jackson was not about medical marijuana. “This case is about making money, plain and simple,” Lindberg said.
During raids in June and July of 2008, officers found credit card receipts for more than $150,000 at Answerdam Collective, Lindberg said. After raiding the collective, officers also searched Jackson’s home, where they found 17 ecstasy tablets and the Xanax without a prescription.
Lindberg admitted that an undercover San Diego police officer lied to a doctor to get a medical marijuana recommendation. The prosecutor said the undercover officer paid $20 membership dues and was then immediately allowed to buy the pot. The agent bought marijuana at Answerdam on two occasions, Lindberg said.
Defense attorney K. Lance Rogers told the jury that the undercover officer signed up for the collective under false pretenses, using a fake name and getting a false medical recommendation.