SANTA ANA, CA -- At 2 pm today, a Superior Court judge was scheduled to decide whether to close the Dana Point collective where Malinda Traudt gets her medical marijuana. But, the Court of Appeal stepped in to block the hearing.
Malinda was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, total blindness, and cognitive delays. She was recently diagnosed with severe osteoporosis which has caused portions of her bones to literally disintegrate and triggered chronic and excruciating pain. After Malinda nearly died from serious adverse reactions to pharmaceutical painkillers, including OxyContin, her mother and pain-specialist tried a natural approach: medical marijuana. Within days, Malinda's kidneys began functioning again and her pain became manageable. Malinda's mother, once a staunch anti-drug advocate, now pushes Malinda, in her wheelchair, to the Beach Cities Collective to obtain her life-saving medicine.
But, the Collective's future is uncertain due to Dana Point's crusade to close down every collective in that city. City Attorney, Patrick Munoz, calls the collectives "criminal enterprises" because he says they have not proven otherwise. Malinda's attorney, Jeff Schwartz, says that's absurd. "Under the law," says Schwartz, "neither people nor collectives have to prove anything. If the government believes that illegal activities are going on, it's the government's burden to prove it."
Today, the court was scheduled to rule on Dana Point's request for a preliminary injunction to immediately force the Collective to shut down. To protect her access to medical marijuana, Malinda applied to "intervene" in the case. When Judge William M. Monroe denied her request, Malinda filed an appeal and asked the Appellate Court to block the hearing pending that appeal.
The Fourth District Court of Appellate issued a temporary order blocking the hearing but gave Dana Point until July 13, 2010 to oppose Malinda's request that the hearing stay on hold until her appeal is completed.
For Shelly White, Malinda's mother, it was a huge relief. "I have lost more sleep worrying about whether or not I am going to get my daughter's medicine," she said, "wondering in the morning: is today the last day we'll have peanut butter balls? Is today the day when my dispensary closes down?" If Dana Point succeeds in closing down all the legal sources of medical marijuana, "I guess I'll have to buy it from the drug dealers," she said. "For 30 years I have been Malinda's advocate and I am not going to stop now."
For more information go to http://malindasfight.info.