Pubdate: Sat, 21 Apr 2001
Source: Marin Independent Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Marin Independent Journal
Author: Richard Halstead


The group responsible for forcing Marin District Attorney Paula Kamena into 
a May 22 recall election has filed a financial statement documenting 
monetary contributions - several months late.

The statement indicates that from July 2000 to December 2000 the Marin 
Alliance Legal Defense Fund Committee raised a total of $9,870 from just 
five contributors.

Lynnette Shaw of Fairfax, one of the leaders of recall effort, contributed 
$5,000 from an insurance settlement on her car. The next largest 
contribution was $1,500 - from Kenneth E. Hayes of San Francisco, who on 
Wednesday was acquitted of felony charges of marijuana cultivation and 
possession for sale by a Sonoma County jury.

Hayes was arrested on suspicion of growing marijuana for medical pot users 
in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. In the past, however, Hayes said he 
has grown cannabis for the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax, 
which Shaw founded.

Three other individuals made donations of $500 each. They are:

- - Don Duncan, co-director of the Berkeley Patients' Group, a medical 
marijuana dispensary that also offers massage and acupuncture

- - Ed Rosenthal, an author and publisher of several books on the subject of 
cannabis, including: "Easy Marijuana Gardening" and "Ask Ed: Marijuana Law 
(Don't Get Busted)"

- - Sister Mary Jane Weirick, a Catholic nun who worked at Dennis Peron's 
Cannabis Buyers' Club in San Francisco until it was closed in 1996.

According to the financial statement, the remaining balance of the 
contributions - $1,870 - came from donation jars displayed on various 
outreach tables stationed throughout Marin from July to December.

So far, Kamena has raised $79,628, more than eight times the amount 
generated by recall backers.

The disclosure documents, detailing donations and expenses between Jan. 1 
to April 7, show Kamena already has spent $26,873 to fight the recall.

During the February press conference kicking off her recall campaign, 
Kamena highlighted the anonymity of the recall contributors.

"Until they come out of the shadows and we know who they are, then we might 
be led to believe this recall effort is perhaps supported by drug dealers," 
Kamena said then.

"Are these the people who sell drugs to our kids? I don't know but I sure 
would like to," she added.

The individuals who contributed to the Legal Defense Fund all reacted 
angrily to Kamena's remarks.

"That's the first thing they say, 'What are you, a bunch of stoners?' " 
said Sister Weirick. "There is a horrible perception people have, and it is 
mostly created by law enforcement - because it makes their job easier."

Rosenthal said, "Kamena is very close to libel and slander."

The financial statement indicates the Legal Defense Fund spent a total of 
$9,793 - nearly all of it, $8,793, to pay 16 petition circulators.

Madelyne DeJusto, Marin's assistant registrar of voters, said that the 
Legal Defense Fund's financial statement, which arrived in her office on 
Thursday, should have been submitted in November.

"It's nice she has finally made this disclosure," said Mike Gridley, 
Marin's chief assistant prosecutor, who added his boss, Kamena, was not 
available for comment.

DeJusto said she had received numerous inquiries regarding the late filing 
from the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which oversees laws 
governing the conduct of public officials and campaign committees.

"We just got a call the other day from the FPPC, asking for more 
information," DeJusto said.

Roman Porter, an FPPC spokesperson, said he could not comment on whether 
there is an investigation or if any fines are anticipated.

Shaw said she was late filing the statement because the Legal Defense 
Fund's bank statements were sent back to the Bank of America's central 
California office due to a computer glitch.

"I was not able to get copies of all bank statement records to confirm our 
check amounts and deposit amounts until April 12," Shaw said.

Shaw initially maintained that the Legal Defense Fund was not required to 
disclose the names of its contributors.

The individuals who contributed to the recall effort all said they think 
Kamena should be removed because of the way she has enforced Proposition 215.

The initiative, which was supported by 73 percent of Marin voters, exempted 
from prosecution patients and caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana 
for medical treatment recommended by a health-care provider.

"Paula Kamena doesn't seem to be implementing Prop. 215," said Hayes, who 
was busted on suspicion of possessing 899 plants and hashish at a rented 
farm in Petaluma in May 1999.

"She is one of these rogue DAs, coupled with the cowboy cop mentality, that 
are continuing to offer us roundblocks," Hayes said.

The contributors emphasized that while Kamena might not be prosecuting all 
medical marijuana users, they nevertheless are being arrested and having 
their cannabis confiscated.

"Their lives are still being destroyed," Sister Weirick said.

Rosenthal said Kamena should be removed because her enforcement of 
Proposition 215 does not reflect the wishes of Marin residents.

"She would be a really good DA somewhere else," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D