UPDATE: The City Council delayed a vote for a week and probably longer on a new ordinance implementing the 13-year-old state medical marijuana law. Councilman Ed Reyes and others proposed a long series of amendments intended to gut the City Attorney’s proposal to bring LA — poster child for out-of-control marijuana dispensaries — into compliance with the letter of the state law. No matter what the Council does, District Attorney Steve Cooley has vowed to prosecutie operators of dispensaries on felony drug sales charges.
Day by day, Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich is showing how much of a difference one person can make, one person who stands apart from the lemmings who populate City Hall.
Lemmings are little rats who breed like flies to the point they overwhelm their environment and scamper en masse to the edge of cliffs and jump off together to their doom — a delightful scene immortalized by Disney in “White Wilderness” 50 years ago when LA was in its heyday as long as you didn’t need to breathe.
Our city officials are a lot like Disney’s lemmings.
Admittedly, their breeding habits aren’t the cause of LA’s overpopulation as far as I know but the end result is the same: They are overwhelming our environment with more people than there is water, power, space, jobs or schools.
Not a one of them gets out of step with the others — at least that’s been the case until Nuch arrived in town and refused to join the pack.
Trutanich is a maverick, the kind of lawyer who believes in the odd notion that the law is supposed to apply to everyone equally. To the lemmings, this is treason punishable by being pushed off the cliff all by himself.
As an elected official, Trutanich felt the taxpayers who elected him were entitled to have the AEG-Staples Center heavyweights pay the several million dollar cost of the Michael Jackson Funeral Extravaganza that was going to produce spectacular profits for the company and its billionaire owner.
The lemmings were outraged and lined up in a chorus line to denounce him and then burrowed back underground where they could cuddle with their influential friends.
Then, Trutanich had the temerity to trick them into passing a law that put an end to the seven-year fiasco over billboards — a law that meant the federal court test of being rational and applying equally to all.
The lemmings responded by threatening to drag their own lawyer into court if he tried to stop them from rewarding AEG and other special friends from making billions while destroying the city’s visual landscape without providing any benefit whatsoever to the city’s treasury or its people.
Selective enforcement of laws is as much a part of the culture of City Hall’s corruption as selling out the public interest to unions, developers, lobbyists, contractors and all the others who prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that in LA, it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.
Zoning laws, building code enforcement, Special Order 40, DWP rates, trash fees and so many others are examples of laws and policies that are selectively used to reward or punish specific groups or individuals.
Today, the lemmings are taking up another case of selective enforcement: Medical marijuana.
The sale and distribution of marijuana is illegal in the United States which hasn’t stopped 30 or 40 million Americans from smoking dope regularly, fueling an illegal drug trade that makes Prohibition in the 1930s seem small-time.
California has led the nation in the quasi-legalization of marijuana by allowing it for medicinal purposes to relieve the pain, if not the symptoms, of serious medical conditions. Communities throughout the state have allowed marijuana collectives to open in small numbers for patients to share their home-grown pot with limited amounts of actual sales.
Not LA. Only in LA have authorities allowed marijuana dispensaries to open up on every block, sometimes two to a block, hundreds of them, maybe a thousand, without any regulation or control.
Trutanich, and his mentor District Attorney Steve Cooley, are law-and-order types who think it isn’t a good thing or legal for neighborhoods all over the city to be overrun by drug dealers selling pot to just about anyone, young or old, sick or healthy.
So they are pushing for a new city ordinance that would close down 90 percent of the pot shops and stop the flagrant selling of marijuana that’s going on.
The lemmings are beside themselves and in a homicidal frenzy. The very idea of the city’s chief legal officer telling them what the law has them crying for his blood.
Today, they will take up consideration of his proposed ordinance with every intention of gutting it and continuing to selectively enforce a law that was intended to be compassionate, not corrupting.
The lemmings will get their way and it will all end up in the courts just like their billboard laws and just as surely as digital signs keep popping up and blinking through the night, pot shops will keep popping up and dealing dope.
It’s enough to make you want to jump off a cliff — if you knew the lemmings would follow you.