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."