George Gascon Tries to Back Up Pro-Pot Claims by Dropping Charges on Grower
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These were charges that District Attorney George Gascón chose to pursue on July 7, two days after telling a roomful of pot advocates, including a perplexed Kevin Reed, CEO of the Green Cross, that he wouldn't prosecute state-legal marijuana growers working for licensed collectives.
Now it appears Gascón has had a change of heart: All charges against Kiloh were dropped on July 15, according to his attorney, Jeremy Blank.
Though as part of the deal, prosecutors took possession of all of the marijuana seized during the July 2010 raid as well as Kiloh's grow equipment.
It might sound like Gascón is talking out of both sides of his mouth, but Erica Derryck, a spokeswoman for the DA, claimed that this entirely consistent with Gascón's stance all along and was no flipflop.
She then asked us to change the initial headline, which read: "George Gascón Flipflops on Medical Marijuana."
"Nothing about the DA's stated position has changed as [Wednesday's] piece clearly points out," Derryck wrote in an e-mail. She refused to explain exactly what new evidence was presented, saying only "although we were never presented with documentary evidence that indicated that Mr. Kiloh was an employee or associate of a collective at the time of the search of his residence, we were finally presented information that demonstrated that Mr. Kiloh had previously been associated with a cooperative/collective."
Kiloh's seized property -- grow lights, cash, and processed marijuana -- was not returned because it reflects the fact "he was not in compliance" when cops raided him, Derryck wrote. Exactly how he was out of compliance the DA would not say.
Kiloh is happy enough with the result and pleased to move on with his life, according to his attorney. But Reed was less than enthused.
According to Reed, the additional evidence presented to the District Attorney was 1099 vendor forms and other evidence of a grower-collective relationship between Kiloh and Green Cross -- info that was handy all along and indeed seized in the initial raid, Reed said. That it took a year and tens of thousands of dollars for the DA to recognize a piece of paper it had for more than 12 months isn't pleasing Reed.
"After seven separate court appearances, the Department finally recognized his relationship with medical cannabis in San Francisco," Reed says. "What kind of freaking justice is this?"
At best, "it's a hard case to understand," says David Goldman, who sits on the city's Medical Cannabis Task Force. "It sounds to me like the District Attorney didn't do its due diligence and vet the information in the police report before pressing charges. As far as I can tell, [Gascón's office] didn't do its job right."
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