By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Duuuuuude, Take 2:The controversy over medical marijuana dispensaries continues with our second story on the subject (Patrick Range MacDonald’s “Trutanich Probes Pot Backer Don Duncan,” Dec. 4) in two weeks, and let’s just say the commentary is getting a little ... weird. You know, the usual racists and people impersonating the author and our perennial favorite, “Your magazine is a [sic] toilet paper!!!!”. So we’ll take the high road and offer into evidence one “For” the Weekly’s take and one “Against.”
First, the For, from Mike Vasquez of Hollywood: “While Don Duncan is a nice guy, let’s face it, he’s got his fingers in regulation because the very proliferation of medical marijuana locations is hurting his monopoly. Period. Take the profit out of “collectives” and see how many of these so-called activists show up at the next council meeting.
“I am HIV positive and have used medical marijuana for medical reasons. All of you so-called collective owners should thank the AIDS activists who died fighting for marijuana to be distributed to people like myself. How ’bout our city “officials” get back to the medicinal need for access to this drug, validate and permit those businesses, require background checks on owners, force them to post security bonds, and get everyone to play by the rules like most of us do, day in and day out in society.
“I was at the last L.A. City Council meeting, and it was a room filled with pothead wannabees yelling and screaming because their profits were set to evaporate. Not a one showed true ‘compassion’ about why people like Paul Koretz backed the original legislation to begin with.
“Bravo to the Weekly for this piece. But you are missing one big piece of the pie, the bogus doctor network that has been created. I have seen nothing in the ‘ordinance’ on who’s going to ‘regulate’ them.”
And now the Against, from Kris Hermes of Oakland: “It looks like L.A. Weekly needs a lesson in civics. What do advocates do when they want to influence a piece of legislation? They meet with elected officials, aggressively push their agenda, and hope their arguments influence decision-makers. Is this any different behavior than what you would expect from pharmaceutical or oil industry lobbyists? Then, why is it that medical marijuana advocate Don Duncan is being accused by L.A. Weekly of unethical behavior despite not providing a shred of evidence to that effect?
“Has Duncan met with City Council members over the past two years to help them craft a sensible ordinance that will have the least impact on L.A. neighborhoods? Yes. Have other individuals and community organizations had equal opportunity to do the same? Absolutely. In fact, if the L.A. Weekly had done its homework, it would have noted that such individuals and groups have indeed met with city officials to voice their positions, far from being ‘locked out’ of deliberations.
“Has the L.A. Weekly noticed that since the Council took up this issue more than two years ago, the proposals coming out of the City Attorney’s office (first Delgadillo, then Trutanich) have been geared to shut down all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the city? Not exactly a reflection on the position of Mr. Duncan. Maybe the City Attorney’s office was listening to different lobbyists. “Nonetheless, the L.A. Weekly would do better investigating City Attorney Carmen Trutanich instead. He’s the one who participated in a law enforcement training this summer on ‘eradicating’ medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A. at the same time the city was developing an ordinance to regulate them. Trutanich has also routinely misstated case law to bolster his position, and has repeatedly misled the City Council on the legality of medical marijuana sales.
“It’s easy to call for an ethics investigation, and it’s even easier if the office conducting the investigation is a biased sore loser in a political battle. However, it’s not that much more difficult, especially for so-called investigative journalists, to ascertain that Duncan is a selfless, hard-working expert on the issue of medical marijuana, who comes to the table with years of experience and the support of thousands of patients in the L.A. area.”
TASK MR. GOLD
Last week, Fred T. from Santa Susana praised Jonathan Gold’s writing. This week he has a complaint, albeit a mild one: “If anyone can recommend a good Chinese place that is inviting to novice diners, please do. It would be really helpful, and possibly good for business, if J.G let people know such things rather than assume we would all be delighted by a surprise dish of pickled sea slug or some other weird, some might say revolting, food. Hare stuffed with its own guts in a soup of blood, mmm yummy.”
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