by Richard Muller
Alan Martinez was a nurse who had his patients and livelihood affected by Sonoma County officials who decided to prosecute him for cultivation of medical marijuana shortly after the state medical marijuana law, Proposition 215, was enacted. He was an epileptic, and probably the earliest activist to pass away while on trial with his partner Jason Miller for having plants and assisting medical marijuana patients after the change in law.
His case was charged before the medical marijuana collective law was passed, and his lawyer William Panzer, helped write the Compassionate Use Act. He hoped that the case would ensure that the voter initiative would stop patients from being charged, instead of just giving them a defense during trial.
“It’s been a grave infringement on our privacy,” said Martinez, who didn’t like being the centre of attention. There is also a financial hardship: Martinez lost his job as a result of
the arrest, and he still hasn’t completely paid an increasingly irate bailbondsman
who requires $1,100. Yet Martinez is determined: “I could take diversion, but the principle outweighs the diversion plan. I’d be abandoning people who have AIDS and cancer.”
After Martinez died, charges against Miller were eventually dropped.
You’ll see a photograph of him on the ASA website on the top banner! He passed away in a car accident during a drive from his home in Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay. It was felt that he probably suffered a grand mal seizure and crashed. He had gone without cannabis for his own medical needs and most likely could not keep his malady in check.