PETER BAEZ DEFENSE FUND
BY: GERALD F. UELMEN 8-24-98
Peter Baez is the co-founder and volunteer director of the Santa Clara Medical Cannabis Center, which served as the primary caregiver to provide medical marijuana to 265 fellow sufferers from AIDS,Cancer, and other debilitating diseases in the San Jose area. The center sought to implement Proposition 215, a California Initiative which declared the right of medical patients to use marijuana for medical purposes with the written or oral approval of a physician. On March 23rd, 1998, San Jose Police officers unlawfully seized all patient files, all computers, and the centers bank account, forcing it out of business. Peter Baez was indicted on seven felony counts, and faces a maximum of twenty-six years imprisonment. These charges are based upon an accusation that he did not fully comply with San Jose Police Department Regulations requiring that the physician's approval be verified in writing, and that funds paid to him to reimburse his expenses rendered him ineligible for federal housing benefits, as a vet of the Air Force, he received for his own disability. Peter maintains his innocence of all charges, and has requested a jury trial. The Peter Baez Defense Fund has been established to assist in defraying the expenses of Peter's legal defense. Peter is being represented by Thomas Nolan of Palo Alto and Professor Gerald F. Uelmen of Santa Clara University School of Law. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Daniel Abrahamson, C/O The Lindesmith Center,1095 Market St., Suite 505, San Francisco, Ca 94103.
Checks should be made payable to The Lindesmith Center (a non-profit organization engaged in the promotion of rational drug policy in America), with a notation they are for the Peter Baez Defense Fund. Any money raised above what Peter needs, will be used to help others who are facing similar charges in implementing Prop.215.