REWRITTEN AND UPDATED AT 915PM MONDAY
A bunch of potheads could have done a lot better job of regulating pot shops in Los Angeles under California medicinal marijuana law than the City Council has over the last decade or so.
This is a point worth noting because the two leading candidates for mayor of this “world class” city — ranked 91st in the world and worst in America among tourist destinations for hotel accommodations — have taken their usual meaningless stands on the pot shop issue that is headed to the May runoff ballot.
Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, in a story Sunday in the LA Times, said they believed the answer to all the chaos they and their City Hall colleagues have caused on the issue is to get the federal government to reclassify pot as medicine.
In a city with 800 pot shops, one on every corner in some parts of town and most of them frequented mainly by young men and women wanting to get high rather than get relief from seriously illness, those would-be mayors duck the question and doubletalk around the problem.
They both ought to be disqualified from holding any further office but then both of them have never demonstrated any political courage or straightforward honesty. They aren’t leaders, they’re just professional politicians without any proven ability to lead this city through its unending series of crises or to solve even its most basic problems.
“The courts say wildly different things because there has not been clear guidance from the state or federal level,” Garcetti said, calling for a limited number of pot shops. “You charge a fee so you have an enforcement mechanism, and where possible collect taxes.”
Fewer shops, fees, taxes — where were those proposals during his long reign as Council President when the 15 policymakers passed one illegal pot law after another and then repealed them, and repealed them even when they were upheld in court and never did anything to enforce any form of effective control
City Controller Wendy Greuel, reaching as always to show what a motherly and caring woman she is in contrast to the presumably uncaring and insensitive doltish male rivals she faces, called for “compassion.”
“I think when people voted in the state of California to allow medical marijuana, they thought they would go to their local CVS pharmacy and get itj,” said Greuel, who should have been challenged to produce a single voter in this formerly great state who actually thought such a ridiculous thought.
“They didn’t think about the impact it would have on neighborhoods. The bottom line is we have a right to regulate where marijuana clinics are in the city of Los Angeles…. The public is demanding that the government actually do their job.”
Yes, the public is and has been through all the years that Eric and Wendy and Councilwoman Jan Perry created a sanctuary city for potheads as much as for illegal immigrants demanding that city officials — the nation’s highest paid — actually do their job.
Poor Perry only got a paraphrase from the Times saying that “she would take her policy cues from the voters in May.”
You really have to laugh at that one since if the voters decide the issue, it’s not supposed to be a “cue” about what to do, but an order.
Kevin James, a former federal prosecutor and radio talk show host, got off without being quoted on what he would do as mayor though he got take a well-deserved shot at his rivals, saying the confusion and legal wrangling over pot shops illustrated the dysfunction of the council.
“More pot clinics than Starbucks? Unbelievable,” James said. “Only this City Council could put a moratorium on 180 or so pot clinics — and it skyrockets to over 1,000.”
The fifth candidate, Emanuel Pleitez, a technology executive, set himself apart from the others by saying ”politicians shouldn’t be in the business of setting numbers. Let the market decide.”
Maybe he’s right and we don’t need City Hall at all for anything — though even the accidental anarchist in me believes there needs to be an effective balance between law and order, and law and disorder.
Let’s just let every man, woman and child battle it out in a free-for-all in the marketplace — no way, amoebas never would have turned into two-cell creatures and all that happened after never would have happened if there wasn’t something else at work besides who kills the best and who eats who.
The operative word in survival of the fittest is what “fittest” means.
A lot of important people with money and influence think Garcetti and Greuel are the “fittest” to deal with the city’s complex problems at this point in time.
I say they should put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors on the line if they truly believe that. Because the lives, fortunes and honors if a vast number of people without so much money and utterly influence depend on the actions they are taking on the cheap to put one of them into the mayor’s office.