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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memo to Nuch : Shut them all down!


(photo courtesy of Michael N. Cohen)

There has been a lot of heated discussion on the blogs the last few days about the coming showdown between the Los Angeles law enforcement/City Attorneys office and the marijuana enthusiasts/collectivists. This is all happening because California voters passed a ballot proposition in November of 1996 concerning the "compassionate use" of marijuana for its medicinal purposes for people who are suffering from legitimate medical ailments. The huge problem that we are having right now is that Proposition 215 was poorly written and vague, making it almost impossible to interpret, define, or enforce. The end result is that many people felt they suddenly had the freedom to run around and pursue the business of marijuana sales and purchases because it was now "legal". Well... not exactly.

The Federal government had big issues with this, and it quickly became entangled with States Rights issues. Eventually the Feds backed off a bit and left it up to communities to police the issue. This led to widely varying applications of drug laws here in America. Smoking a joint on Venice Beach in California might not draw any special attention or interest from passing police officers, whereas the same offense in Omaha, Nebraska or Athens, Georgia would probably result in an almost instantaneous trip to the local jail. How is this fair to anyone? Interesting question.

My personal viewpoint is that our government does not have the right to make marijuana illegal. Marijuana is a naturally occurring substance like water, or air. If a government declares that it has the right to make marijuana illegal , then that government also has the same right to make tomatoes illegal. Or roses. It's all the same thing. It's the express road to far-left Fascism once you start banning naturally occurring substances. It violates Natural Law. Besides, it's not the drug that they're really trying to control. It's the human behavior that results from abusing drugs -- that is what they are really trying to control. And you can't control human nature -- so that is a losing battle from the very start.

Los Angeles is at a very crucial turning point in its history right now. And we have never had such a power vacuum of leadership at the top in City Hall. There are over 600 different collectives selling marijuana all over town right now. A majority of them are illegal and they are flaunting their activities in the face of the law. They are being abusive and taking advantage of the lax policing and regulating of these shops. Some of them are accused of being run by what some citizens are saying are criminal elements. Marijuana enthusiasts will counter that they are only for people with a prescription card, but there are plenty of quack doctors out there handing out that card to anyone who complains of a toothache.

Something has to be done, and it looks like Nuch Trutanich is the man who is going to make that stand. It won't be easy. He will make enemies. But it has to be done. As I said before, I don't think any government has the right to make marijuana illegal, but they have every right to regulate businesses in the interest of protecting their citizens. What is bought and sold in storefronts across the City affects public safety and security.

For example, the City of Los Angeles:

1) Does not allow McDonalds to sell you a hot, steaming cup of hydrochloric acid.

2) Does not allow the 7-11 on the corner to sell you a quart of plutonium.

3) Does not allow the 99 cent store to sell you 6000 pounds of chemical fertilizer.

If the City would prohibit these actions, then why in God's name would they allow 600 unlicensed drug dealers to freely sell marijuana all over the City?? It makes no sense!

It is time for Nuch Trutanich to live up to his potential as a leader in this City. He has to make the right call here. He has to shut them all down.

I am not without sympathy for the legitimate medical marijuana patients. I want them to get their marijuana at a hospital or legitimate pharmacy. Not some "club" where semi-gangsters can sell dope to whoever they want, whenever they want. Legitimate patients will understand this. Enthusiasts and hobbyists will not.

Nuch needs to send the collectives a three word message : "You're done here."

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am a card carrying member that purchases marijuana for medical use, 2 major auto accidents, and hip issues. But I see alot of so-called patients that claim to be in pain that they are not. This law was written for white upper middle class and rich people that want to smoke high grade pot. In my 3 years of purchasing, i can count on one hand the amount of people that are ill enough to have this card. The rest are just trying to get high'

October 13, 2009 7:50 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Note to Phil and Nuch: There are bigger issues than pot.

Why do Republicans who say they are pro-free market, pro-individual rights all of a sudden go totalitarian when it comes to things like drugs or gay sex?

There is a better focus folks: cutting taxes, spending and limiting the size and scope of government, not expanding it.

October 13, 2009 8:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cloae em all down ?? Really?? then where do the true patients in need go? back to the street? Keep the legitimate not-for-profit collectives open and close all those store fronts and business's that are thumbing there noses at the law. 186 registered with the city in 2006. Keep those open and close all the ones opened after the moratorium. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

October 13, 2009 8:29 AM  

Anonymous Old Professor said:

Michael:

And there you have hit on the contridictions of trying to define what being a Republican is.

Despite what they may say, they are all for keeping government's hands off business, but don't hesitate for a moment to have government restrict personal and individual freedoms. The Democrats are the opposite.

So instead of aligning yourself along a left to right political spectrum, I'm thinking you may be more comfortable picking a vertical scale. At one end are the totalitarians who want government to regulate business and people, and at the other are the libertarians who want as little governmental interference in all aspects of life as possible.

That would mean not identifying with a major political party, but with a philosophy that you get to define.

October 13, 2009 9:03 AM  

Blogger Jennerjahn is a Simpleton said:

Phil, what did they serve as refreshments at the photographed meeting?

October 13, 2009 9:08 AM  

Blogger Jennerjahn is a Simpleton said:

I live near a dispensary, and on Saturday I saw various people streaming out of it around 9 o'clock on Saturday night.

What a coincidence that all of the medical marijuana patients had such pain at the same time that healthier people like to party?

What a coincidence!

Clearly this business model is unregulated. While Phil regularly demonstrates that he is a rube, he is absolutely right that the sale of marijuana needs to be done at regulated, taxing, and protected pharmacies or hospitals.

Otherwise, this is just a drug dealing operation that ALSO serves a medical need.

There's no doubt that there is a need for medical marijuana, but in this one instance, these "clinics" are only going to create trouble.

October 13, 2009 9:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I say we all chip in and get Phil stoned. I got five on it, so to speak.

October 13, 2009 12:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe we can call him Phil Pufferjahn!

He might be like one of those kids in high school who is completely paranoid the first day he tries it, and then turns into a burnout over the summer.

October 13, 2009 12:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, if you and Nuch and Cooley all along wanted to enforce your rightwing Republican interpretation of the state's Compassionate Use Law he should have run with that agenda and let the medical pot community KNOW fairly and squarely INSTEAD of lying to them that he'd be a lot more friendly to their cause than Weiss would have. Who was no friend of most of those shops, and even Rocky wanted to shut most of them down.

Instead Trutnuch told them he would uphold the state law as they (the pro-cannabis community) saw it, got them to walk precincts, as well as call and blog and write and they got out the vote as well as state-wide support. He invited them to his party to "celebrate" and even then, let them be deceived by the delusion that he was on their side.

Now he's showing his TRU colors as "a liar and demagogue who says anything to anyone to get their endorsement," as Chick said. "With soundbites and fancy speeches that he never intended to honor, that are outlight lies." (The way he's treated and talked about Chick since then is just disgusting! He's a thug who hates anyone who exposes his trickery.)

That's your hero, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

October 13, 2009 2:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil,

How do you think this state and city is going to get out of the red - by taxing legal marijuana use. As a Republican I thought you would be in favor of free legal enterprise. There is no way that 800 legally permitted and authorized businesses can be shut down. Take a look at the lawsuits sprouting from the first round of closures. You can't allow and permit a business then shut it down - a lot of money was invested in these legal ventures. Guess who is going to pick up the tab once the City loses in court?

October 13, 2009 7:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:16 PM I don't the drug cartels are going to be hurt by the shut down of those illegal pot shops!It just might save some peoples lives if they are shut down. Then they will have to buy their stash from safe suppliers through a pharmacy. that will be a win-win for everyone.

October 14, 2009 12:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:16PM writes: There is no way that 800 legally permitted and authorized businesses can be shut down. ... You can't allow and permit a business then shut it down - a lot of money was invested in these legal ventures.

The fact is that they are not legally permitted. There are about 180 legally permitted dispensaries. The rest of them applied for a "hardship exemption" and opened while their application was being considered. The City Council is now denying these "hardship" applications, a few at a time. The dispensaries took the gamble of knowingly opening without a permit, the expenses are their problem.

7:16PM addsTake a look at the lawsuits sprouting from the first round of closures. ... Guess who is going to pick up the tab once the City loses in court?

The lawsuits are based on the argument that City Council gives them "only" 72 hours notice that their application is on the agenda, and then gives them "only" 2 minutes per person to state their case. If they win on that, even Zuma Dogg will get unlimited time in front of Council - wouldn't that be fun?

October 14, 2009 12:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think this City has much bigger things to worry about than this right now. I'm shocked and disgusted that they waste their time on this issue. Let them go. If people want to smoke, they're going to smoke. This is the biggest waste of time and money and besides, I thought Republicans were all about the freedom to do whatever..

October 14, 2009 1:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:22

If that's the cause for the lawsuit, the dispensaries have a very good case here. How can you justify 2 minutes for a $150K investment. The clerk at the BTRA counter takes allow you more time.

October 14, 2009 11:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

oveawstaPhil, you are a fool.

The government can prohibit anything that can harm you.

Alcohol can be banned for under 21;it occurs naturally (just crush a grape and let it sit long enough and it will ferment in its own skin into alcohol).

If you want ot opine on legality, it might be a good idea to go to law school.

October 17, 2009 9:54 AM  

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