San Francisco AIDS survivor and medical marijuana patient Ben Goldstein was robbed of approximately 7 ounces of marijuana from him home on December 19, 2005. The SFPD soon after apprehended the robber, but refused to charge him. However, despite recovering all of the stolen marijuana, the SFPD refused to return it to Goldstein, forcing him to file a motion for return of property on August 16, 2006. ASA represented Goldstein for his motion hearing in San Francisco Superior Court, but the court denied the motion, citing Chavez v. Superior Court.
On November 20, 2006, ASA filed a petition for writ of mandate with the California Court of Appeal on Goldstein's behalf, challenging the denial of his motion for return of property.After the California Attorney General filed an amicus letter supporting Goldstein's position, the First Appellate District requested formal briefing. The Drug Policy Alliance authored an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of People Living With AIDS (NAPWA), the San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), and the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), which was filed on January 31, 2007.
The Court of Appeal denied the writ on technical grounds without prejudice to its refilling.
- Goldstein's motion for return of property (filed 8/16/06)
- Goldstein's petition for writ of mandate (filed 11/20/06)
- ASA reply in support of petition (filed 2/9/07)
- Amicus brief in support of petition (filed 1/31/07)