Rosen Rocks The Boat

Having handily knocked off Dolores Carr in November’s election, District Attorney Jeff Rosen has so far delivered on his promise to make changes big and small in his department. In addition to reinstating the Cold Case Unit, Team Rosen is reinvigorating the Government Integrity Unit, a do-nothing department under Carr, which has been renamed the Public Integrity Unit and put in the hands of John Chase. Rosen also circulated a memo that bars blanket challenges on judges—a pointed (and entirely symbolic) gesture referencing one of his predecessor’s most controversial ploys.

Rosen’s office is also softening its stance on medical marijuana dispensaries. Two weeks ago, Dean Ackemann, one of the lead investigators on the Santa Clara County Special Enforcement Team, said the task force was taking a systematic approach to shutting down every pot club in the county. The admission was a virtual middle finger to San Jose voters, who decided in November to tax the pot clubs, and to Pierluigi Oliverio and his colleagues on the City Council, who confirmed the vote in December.

When asked at the time to share his views on such tough talk from one of his investigators, Rosen cryptically stated that there would be soon be some “personnel changes.” And sure enough, last week, Rosen reassigned Ackemann to the DA’s major fraud unit. Proprietors of medical marijuana dispensaries and their patients might be able to exhale for the time being, but the clock is still ticking as Rosen consults local law enforcement and federal authorities who continue to view the dispensaries as operating outside the law.

Bob Cook, a supervisor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s local drug-enforcement squad, said his office needs no clarification. “I think it’s ridiculous to tax something that’s federally illegal,” Cook said. “I don’t think they’re going to solve the city’s budget or the state’s budget by taxing marijuana.” Cook also responded to questions about where the task force gets its funding, insisting that federal grant money that was intended to combat methamphetamine use is not being used. Cook added that the officers working for the multi-agency task force, headed by Danielle Ayers, are paid by their respective offices.

As for another investigator offering his or her opinion on the pot-club raids—don’t count on it anytime soon. When asked who would be the best person to contact in the future, Rosen responded quickly: “Me.”

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. To: Bob Cook, Danielle Ayers, and all LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

    Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of California, Amendment III, Section 3.5(c), state enforcement officials do not have the authority to refuse to enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement of such statute. 

    Furthermore, in Garden Grove v, Superior Court, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District has observed that, “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.”.

    Thank you for your understanding and compliance.

    (courtesy of the SJCBC Membership Agreement)

    Best Regards,
    Dave Hodges

    • An Interview with Dave Hodges

      Interviewer: Mr. Hodges, thank you for being here today to discuss medical marijuana.

      Hodges: Why wouldn’t I be here today? I said I’d come. Is there some reason I shouldn’t have? What, did you think I was paranoid? What a strange way to begin a conversation. Are you connected with Dean Ackemann? This isn’t a setup, is it?

      Interviewer: No, nothing like that. But given the controversy surrounding medical marijuana, I do understand your concerns.

      Hodges: Controversy? There’s no controversy? The court rulings have been very clear. Have you read them? I have several that might interest you. Actually, I have forty-six. That’s the problem: people say there’s controversy when there is none. Marijuana has medicinal qualities, it is legal to dispense it, and anyone who questions that has probably been mislead by a narc, or maybe is a narc.

      Interviewer: I get your point. Let’s move on to the medicinal qualities of the drug. What kind of….

      Hodges: I’m going to stop you right there. I do not deal in drugs. Marijuana is an herb… it’s natural… organic…. and its medicinal qualities have been recognized for thousands of years, all the way back to the Neaderthals.

      Interviewer: You’re kidding!

      Hodges: I never kid. You can check it out for yourself; a mastodon tusk discovered in a cave in the Neander Valley had very obviously been fashioned into a bong… there was even ancient residue recovered from it.

      Interviewer: That’s amazing. Tell me, was the tusk found amidst a pile of fast food cartons and rusty Bic lighters?

      Hodges: That’s not funny. Besides, I never laugh.

      Interviewer: Okay, back to my question. What kind of conditions might be treatable with marijuana?

      Hodges: That’s simple. Any condition validated by a doctor. In fact, that arthritic elbow of yours would qualify.

      Interviewer: I don’t have arthritis. I’m rubbing my elbow because I cracked it on my car door this morning.

      Hodges: But you’re rubbing it because it bothers you, and because there is a very good chance that your discomfort could be alleviated by smoking some marijuana, you would qualify. I can give you the name of an enlightened doctor if you’d like.

      Interviewer: That’s okay, I think the aspirin I took is working just fine.

      Hodges: You seem close-minded. You shouldn’t let Republican scare tactics keep you from the medicine that is your right according to California law. People need to stop listening to Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Are you aware of how much safer marijuana is than aspirin? Do you want to risk ulcers? Do you love making the drug companies rich?

      Interviewer: You know, I remember the election pretty clearly, and I even voted in favor of medical marijuana, but I don’t remember anyone saying anything about it being used to treat anything and everything. What I remember is the stuff about old folks with glaucoma and all those tragic images of chemo kids. Tell me, were the voters conned?

      Hodges: No one was conned! Why are you accusing me? I knew you were a narc! Who sent you? Was it Frank CarrubbaorDavidSanchezorBobCookDeanAckemannDanielleAyersormaybeoneofthoseguysthat’sbeenfollowingmeandlisteninginonmyphoneandtalkingaboutmetomymom…

      Interviewer: David, David, get a hold of yourself. This is just an interview. Maybe you’d best light up.

      Hodges: (hyperventilating) Yes… perhaps you’re right…. my doctor warned me about conversing with non-stoners… maybe some medicine will do me good.

      • “BS”,
        Thank you! That was the hardest I have ever laughed… Ever! Really! For a second I thought I was having one of those uncontrollable outbreaks described in reefer madness, wasn’t sure I’d survive. You know that dangerous reefer! I love your perspective. The world in your eyes is an interesting place.

        The funniest part of all this is how all the people against marijuana turn to insults, fail to provide facts, and will not provide their real identities.

        Officer D, aka: David Sanchez,
        Was easy to figure out, when I ruled out Dean. All thanks to this pile of BS that he posted titled “Facts About Cannabis Use”:

        So “BS” why don’t you provide some facts against any arguments I have made? or is that too hard for you? It’s much easier to write me off as a paranoid stoner, right?

        You are hilarious! You SHOULD think about leaving your day job to become a comedian! I think it would be a good career change.

        • Hodges,
          Do you think it is necessary to have stand alone marijuana stores, or would it be ok to sell it just in a regular pharmacy? I have asked you this 5 times and never gotten an answer.

        • > I am for full legalization, and the proper rescheduling of cannabis.

          “Full legalization” and “proper rescheduling” are fundamentally contradictory.

          If it’s on a “schedule”, it isn’t fully legal.

          And if it’s already on a “schedule” and you believe the scheduling is “improper” and advocate ignoring the current scheduling, what difference does it make to you whether it is properly scheduled or not?

        • “Steve”, “BS Monitor”, Frank, whatever you want to call yourself…

          I have answered you each time you have asked this question. Maybe you don’t like my answer, but here it is again:

          I am for full legalization, and the proper rescheduling of cannabis. When this happens, I have no doubt, further research will develop derivatives of cannabis in pill form, that could be distributed at a pharmacy. Drugs that would go far beyond the limitations of Marinol (synthetic THC), and be able to provide relief for the many conditions people find treatable with cannabis, but that they find Marinol ineffective for. This would likely also spin out two businesses similar to our current cannabis clubs. One would be an alternative medical clinic, that specializes in cannabis, similar to my collective today. The other would likely be something similar to the coffee shops found in Amsterdam, for recreational users. In addition legalization of marijuana would revive the long lost industry of which our country was founded on, known as industrial hemp.

      • > Hodges: No one was conned! Why are you accusing me? I knew you were a narc! Who sent you? Was it Frank CarrubbaorDavidSanchezorBobCookDeanAckemannDanielleAyersormaybeoneofthoseguysthat’sbeenfollowingmeandlisteninginonmyphoneandtalkingaboutmetomymom

        Good stuff, Mr. Monitor.

        But did Hodges mention me?  I hate it when no one notices me.

      • It’s understandable how one could become paranoid when one’s listed specialties are “Cannabis” and “Fighting the man”.

        Psst.  See that guy over there looking through the used LPs?  He might be an errand boy for the “man”.

  2. “Rosen Rocks The Boat” ?

    I would say that Rosen’s boat is about to hit the rocks, if he thinks he can pick and chose what laws he is going to enforce.

    This is the pit of lawless chaos that lies at the bottom of the slippery slope of a “living breathing Constitution”: living and breathing statutory law, living and breathing policing, living and breathing courts, yadda yadda yadda.

    Instead of stable and predictable rule of law, we’re descending into a system of law based on the living and breathing voices inside of politicians heads.

    Is Rosen’s pursuit of hugs and good vibes from the Big Marijuana industry leading him down the path of becoming our own homegrown Michael Nifong?

    • Doofinator > “if he thinks he can pick and chose what laws he is going to enforce.”

      So who gets to decide what laws to enforce? Bob Cook & Danielle Ayers? Last time I checked only the Superior Court of California could interpret laws… and the fact is, they do not agree with Bob Cook or Danielle Ayers…

      Again I ask who is “the Big Marijuana industry” you keep referring to? Please elaborate. Am I it?

      Also Doofinator, please stick to one name.

      I love how you like to post as:
      Bronco Bummah,
      Deep Intellectual,
      Pat Down,
      Visualize Liberty,
      Sergeant Schultz,
      Typhoid Mary,
      Exhibit A and so many more…

      • > Again I ask who is “the Big Marijuana industry” you keep referring to? Please elaborate. Am I it?

        Dunno.  How much money do you get from the marijuana industry?

        Marijauna is the largest cash crop in California. 

        SOMEONE has to be “Big Marijuana”.  It could very well be you.

  3. If San Jose police pays for pot raids from San Jose taxes since ” “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.” ( see above )

    Then why are San Jose politicians who support California Medical Marijuana law in budget crisis and whose policy is tax legal pot clubs allowing

    City Manager who is on record saying she wants pot clubs closed allowing her spend city taxes to close r San Jose pot closes losing business taxes and jobs

  4. “Bob Cook, a supervisor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s local drug-enforcement squad, said his office needs no clarification. ‘I think it’s ridiculous to tax something that’s federally illegal.’”

    Doe he mean other than The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act?

  5. What does any of this have to do with the constitution, or with a “living” constitution? It’s a personal decision! If Rosen has 300 employees, some of them have to go to the gangs unit, and some have to be in cold case, and some have to be in homicide etc. If he decides to de-emphasize one kind of prosecution (marijuana) and use those resources in another kind of prosecution, then that is a political and professional judgement call totally unrelated to the constitution. Don’t like his allocation of resources? Elect someone else!

    And in case you were wondering: No, Rosen could not decide to completely stop prosecuting white-on-black hate crimes or gay-bashing or whatever. “Every nacht is kristalnacht!” is definitely unconstitutional. But its unconstitutional because of the 14th amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the law and due process. But of course de-emphasizing drug crimes doesn’t violate the 14th amendment. So there is no issue here except for a political issue, which is exactly as it should be, since this is politics.

  6. Jay Boyarsky Will Serve As The Chief Assistant District Attorney Attorney, Office of the (DEP)&contentId=dca7e7806b1dc210VgnVCM10000048dc4a92____

    “He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Region of the Anti-Defamation League.”


    Oh,  THAT ADL.

    First, Anastasia Steinberg,  Now Jay Boyarsky.

    “On April 14, 19 Bay Area citizens filed a class action suit charging that ADL and two of its investigators had violated their privacy by illegally obtaining their personal records from government sources. The suit was filed by attorney Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, Jr., a former congressman who was himself the subject of a file. One of the plaintiffs is Yigal Arens, son of former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens. Arens, a professor of computer science at the University of Southern California, is a member of the Jewish Committee on the Middle East, which favors a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “ADL believes that anyone who is American or who speaks politically against Israel is at least a closet anti-Semite,” Arens said.

    Other plaintiffs include Carol El-Shaieb, president of the Santa Clara County Arab-American Democratic Club; Audrey Shabbas, a Berkeley educator; and Amal Barkouki-Winter, president of the board of trustees of West Valley-Mission Community College District. “None of us is guilty of racism or Nazism or anti-Semitism or other ‘isms’ that ADL claims to protect us against,” El-Shaieb said, maintaining that she and others were targeted solely because of their support for Palestinian causes.

    Two days after the suit was filed, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Anastasia Steinberg resigned from the ADL board of directors, saying she was concerned about “the appearance of conflict of interest. ” Steinberg had earlier prepared a report for the Santa Clara district attorney and is believed to have known about ADL’s spy operation since January. “

    Can’t we have a local law enforcement without special interest moles, creepy witch hunters, and intelligence operatives?

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