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George Gascon Flipflops on Medical Marijuana 

Wednesday, Jul 20 2011
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With less than six months as district attorney on his résumé — and zero cases personally tried in court — George Gascón has a thin record on which to stand for re-election in November. But the former chief of police is doing what he can to rally a base, even among the medical marijuana community.

"My office is not interested in prosecuting legal cultivation sites connected with a registered dispensary," Gascón told a July 5 meeting of Americans for Safe Access, a patients' advocacy group.

Meanwhile, his office is pressing felony charges against 63-year old Wayne Kiloh, who has legally cultivated medical cannabis for Green Cross for nearly seven years, according to its CEO, Kevin Reed. Kiloh's Richmond District home was raided by police in July 2010, and despite Reed's good standing as a registered dispensary operator and his insistence that Kiloh was growing for his collective, prosecutors declined to drop charges during a July 7 hearing and offered Kiloh a felony plea.

Erica Derryck, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney, assures SF Weekly this could all be cleared up easily. "Someone from Green Cross communicated to police that [Kiloh] was not an employee," she says, noting that a permit from the Department of Public Health, on site at Kiloh's home, was expired. If Green Cross presents any information to the contrary, she says, the charges may be dropped, "but nothing has been presented to us to demonstrate any relationship."

The Green Cross disputes this. "At no time did a conversation between Green Cross and the police take place," spokeswoman Caren Woodson says. Paperwork at the Hall of Justice demonstrating Kiloh's legitimacy — including tax forms and a letter identifying Kiloh as a grower for the collective — was seized by police during the raid, and extra copies were furnished to prosecutors as late as this July 7, Woodson says. "All of it is right in their hands," she says.

Kiloh's attorney, Jeremy Blank, is working to settle the case with prosecutors, who will take their cues from Gascón for a full four years if he wins in November. But what cues will he send?

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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