My Name is Mark...
I withstood the devastating effects of Chemotherapy from March 1999 until July 2007. 3 Separate Treatments of 18 months each plus maintenance in between. During this time I was nauseous, weak and barely alive. Cannabis was the only thing that kept me going!
Mark before becoming ill.
Mark while on chemotherapy.
Although I was extremely ill and cannabis was the only thing that enabled me to eat, and in spite of the fact that, under California State Law I was a legal Medical Marijuana Patient, I was arrested and charged with felony cultivation.
I was held in the back seat of a police vehicle for approximately 6-8 hours without water or ventilation. To this day I suffer from residual numbness as a result of wearing overly tight handcuffs for so many hours!
It was mid-July, the windows were rolled up except for a crack in the front drivers window, and I was perspiring profusely. At the time, I was extremely weak and suffering from severe vomiting due to Chemotherapy. I was beginning to loose consciousness and would have died in the back of that Police Car from dehydration and heat exhaustion if one of my neighbors hadn't stood up against the Sheriffs Officers to assiste me in drinking a bottle of Gatorade TM he provided.
At the time of my arrest, $4,000 in cash was removed from my residence. They justified this theft by calling it "drug money"! It was actually savings to be used for a Liver Biopsy--a necessary medical procedure not covered by my insurance. I had verification on hand from the Lab indicating that the cost, which was more than $4,000 I had on hand, as well as directing that the test must be paid for in cash--No personal checks allowed. This information didn't matter to the Sheriffs.
At the time of my arrest, I had minor children at home. I was told they would build a drug sales case around my confiscated cash and use it to incarcerate my young son. They said he was facing 18 months in prison! This is how they forced me to take a plea bargain when I was a legal cannabis patient. Isn't this extortion!?
Under the terms of my Plea Bargain. I was "guaranteed" to continue with treatments under the Federal Investigational Intermmune Study with Dr. Hossanine. After incarceration the prison doctors decided this was a "Medical Liability". Instead, they took it upon themselves to discontinue my investigational Chemotherapy treatment. I pleaded for over three months for necessary tests and treatment. Finally, they started me on a different Chemotherapy regime and cut my dosage in half.
Prior to incarceration my viral load was 1800, virtually cured. The day before I was released I was finally given my first and only blood test. My viral load had sky rocketed to over 3 Million!
Upon release, I was unable to resume treatments under the investigational study that had been so successful at lowering my viral load. I had no choice but to eventually start a new round of Chemotherapy with a less effective compound.
According to the laws of the State of California, I was a legal Medical Marijuana patient. I had a valid doctor's recommendation, reams of medical records to document my condition, and only 11 plants on a 4'x6' Table.
I arrived home to find twelve San Bernardino Sheriffs Officers and two plain clothes narcotics officers had kicked in my gate. They had no Search Warrant but claimed they had right of entry due to an alleged anonymous complaint about the smell of marijuana coming from my home. I offered documentation of my compliant patient status but they were not interested in seeing any paperwork. I then asked if I was under arrest. They said I was being detained, handcuffed me, placed me in the back of a squad car and continued to violate my home.
I was held in the car for 3-4 hours before finally being taken to Big Bear Sheriffs Dept. After spending some time there, I was then told I was a medical liability and my condition was too rough for them to hold me in jail. At 3 a.m. I was finally released on O.R.
Moments before my early morning release I was informed that my well maintained house had been condemned and I would not be permitted inhabit it upon release. I was given just 5 minutes to enter my home and gather everything I needed. While I was incarcerated, the Sheriffs cut my electrical wires! It took me several days to gather the proper permits and have an electrician repair the damage they had caused. In the meantime, I was forced to sleep in the back of a my pickup truck for 3 nights.
When the Sheriffs decided that it was a good idea to cut my electrical service, I had just had my prescriptions filled and there were several thousand dollars worth of chemo medications stored in my refrigerator. They were all destroyed. Chemotherapy is not supposed to be stopped abruptly! But for the second time my medical treatment was interrupted because of my medically sanctioned use of cannabis. Because the Sheriff's had taken it upon themselves to cut-off my electricity while I was in jail, all my chemotherapy medications were destroyed--left ruined because the Sheriffs had cut-off my electricity while I was in jail!
At the time of my second arrest, my youngest son now lived on his own, so the Sheriffs had no threat or leverage for Law Enforcement or District Attorney to hold over my head. Rather than accept another plea bargain, I hired Atty. Michael J. Holmes.
After 8 appearances in Court, my case was finally dismissed.
In spite of the fact that I was innocent and had done nothing wrong I've yet to receive either an apology, the return of my money and personal property, or the promised reduction of my Felony Cultivation Conviction to a Misdemeanor as per the terms of my earlier Plea Bargain.