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SAN DIEGO -- The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been controversial for decades.
But now a local physician, Dr. Alfonso Jimenez, has hired an attorney to represent him.
Jimenez wants to prevent law enforcement from conducting undercover patient stings.
"What they did here is particularly insidious. They used the police department to send in undercover officers posing as patients and they were told by the district attorney and police chief to lie," said Jimenez's attorney Steven Schectman.
Schectman said during an undercover investigation on his client, officers were giving false identifications and medical histories.
In a written complaint, Schectman said his client was targeted for an "undercover patient" investigation solely because he specializes in alternative health therapies, including prescribing medical marijuana.
"They came in there knowing that they could find no crime, so that investigation was to ensure they could stop medical marijuana," said Schectman.
Schectman said the Drug Enforcement Administration was prohibited from investigating Jimenez solely because he made recommendations to patients whose medical conditions might benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
"That's an abuse of discretion; that's bad faith and it's another indication that what is happening here is not the pursuit of justice but a pursuit of a personal agenda by law enforcement," Schectman.
Though some doctors and patients said marijuana is legitimate, the U.S. government disagrees as federal law considers it illegal.
It is an ongoing battle according to California Western School of Law Prof. Justin Brooks.
"Where it becomes an issue is should the state be used to enforce federal criminal law; and typically they don't," said Brooks.
The district attorney's office declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit. http://www.10news.com/news/17318221/detail.html