HIV/AIDS activist Antonio Davis, a paralegal from Philadelphia has been subjected to especially punitive treatment by prosecutors. Davis was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2002. He was also recently diagnosed with a painful joint disease. His doctor recommended that he use medical marijuana to manage his pain and to increase his appetite.
The first prosecutor handling the activists’ case ordered each person who had been arrested to pass three drug tests as a condition for having charges dropped. Davis’ tests showed the presence of marijuana, which led to his charges. Many of the activists recommended that they give Davis community service, in exchange that they drop the charges.
Davis already completed 64 hours of service, twice the amount prosecutors said he had to do, and is now being required to do another 32 hours. But due to his failed drug tests, there wasn’t an option for the activist. His trial is set for May 7th.
In the meantime, Davis said he has stopped using marijuana, which is thereby causing mental and physical pain.
“I’ve been off of my medical marijuana for the last few months,” said Davis. “It has put me in great jeopardy with my health as well as my mental health.”
The activists’ attorney, Mark Goldstone, told Huffington Post he is looking into a motion to dismiss, but he hopes the U.S. Attorney’s Office will decide to simply drop the case instead. Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office were not returned Wednesday afternoon.
“The guy’s got AIDS,” Goldstone said. “He has a doctor’s letter indicating that she’s keeping track of him. It’s inexplicable why they’re treating him harshly.”