Under the Influence: Did L.A. Weekly Inhale?
If nothing else, David Ferrell’s story on marijuana’s nationwide march toward legalization (“Weed Takes Root,” Jan. 7) let us know that a lot of people are still hopped up about our earlier cover story on pot (“L.A.’s Medical-Weed Wars,” Nov. 23). “Glad to see the Weekly knows how to suck up to the medical-marijuana industry after screwing the pooch on that last story,” writes Ganjafree from Los Angeles. “That’ll keep ’em from getting skipped in the rotation.”
We’re not sure what this means, Mr. Ganjafree, but we always appreciate a good baseball analogy. And for the record, the two stories were assigned on the same day last October.
Eric Watson of Los Angeles thanks us for “this comprehensive investigative article on the status of marijuana reform in our country. These repressive marijuana laws were put in place during the Richard Nixon administration as a way to combat the growing counterculture of the baby boomers. It’s taken 40 years but we are finally seeing some sense creep back into our drug policy in this country. Individuals have a right to do whatever they want to their own bodies and the government has no right to persecute them in any way for these personal choices.”
Meanwhile, a voice of reason comes to us from San Francisco. “So, after years of bogus attacks on medical marijuana, the L.A. Weekly disinformation campaign is clear,” writes Mr. Leland Cole. “You are the enemy of the sick and dying and allied with the L.A. mayor’s cabal — who fear the rising political power consistent with the growth of the medical-marijuana movement.
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“With the mayor’s power over the city of Los Angeles, even the present attorney general of the state of California is playing along too, probably to gain support in his failing bid for another term as governor. This will eventually cost you most all of your readership, and then your membership in the alternate [sic] press.”
That would be alternative press, Leland.
“Bye-bye, L.A. Weekly — your [sic] soon to be yesterday’s toast!”
We also heard from Jeff Koloski, who appreciates “the straightforward tone of this article” but isn’t happy with Mr. Ferrell’s candid opinion suggesting that someone smoking five joints a day probably has bigger problems than risk of cancer.
“What kind of expert is Mr. Ferrell on marijuana, medical or not, that he can opine as [to] what constitutes an acceptable dosage?”
We’re sorry, Jeff, but we’re not at liberty to share that information.
“This article is a halfhearted attempt to win some advertisement back,” adds Jeff.
Seriously, man, we put our whole goddamn heart into it.
“L.A. Weekly will still be fit only for my rabbit cage.”
To paraphrase this week’s cover-man-playing-a-boy, Pee-wee Herman, “We know you are, Jeff, but what are we?”
Last week’s story on the ousting of the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Cecilia Estolano (“City Hall’s Revenge on Cecilia Estolano,” by Tibby Rothman, Jan. 7) proves that if people aren’t angry at the Weekly, they’re angry at city government. “As a veteran of City Hall with the misfortune of working in that dysfunctional dump known as CDD [Community Development Department],” writes InLA from L.A., “I can commiserate with Ms. Estolano for wanting no part of it. Having said that, City Hall is no place for smart, innovative people and they are usually driven out. This is the worst it has ever been. A dumb mayor and council members attract the same. Dare they dispute that, the current fiscal crisis of their making proves it.”
More love for the city from Aaron Epstein in Hollywood: “Cecilia Estolano is now in a very fortunate position if she is no longer associated with an added layer of bureaucracy that takes our valuable tax revenue away from needed city services like police, fire, medical, libraries and utilizes it to benefit well-connected developers.
“Cecilia should be congratulated, not pitied.”
Two views of Estolano’s effectiveness, the first from Anonymous2 from L.A.: “The brightest light in City Hall in a long time. Ms. Estolano was a ‘can-do’ CEO who inspired the agency’s staff to get things done as well. Her deep understanding of industry sectors and the role they play in sustaining upward mobility for working wo/men was taking L.A.’s redevelopment in a fundamentally more meaningful direction.”
And this opposing take from Stopit in Los Angeles: “This article missed one large point: Moving the CRA to the new building was going to save the city millions of dollars. Ms. Estolano wanted nice office space and was willing to waste city money to get it. She got what she deserved.
“And, if you had bothered to talk to the rank and file of the CRA, you’d find out that Cecilia was seen for what she was: a political hack who lacked experience and the background to run the CRA — and boy, did it show.”
Finally, this suggestion from yet another Anonymous of L.A.: “Before a new director is hired, L.A. Weekly, could you please do an article about the CRA? Why do they exist; what good have they done; and whom do they benefit? It should keep you busy for months.”
GOOD FEEL TO FISH
Dr. Gene Rothman of Culver City sent us an actual paper letter with an enclosure — Mr. Fish’s October 11 cartoon of Henry Kissinger in response to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. (Fish’s caption: “I think the Nobel Committee jumped the gun a bit — I didn’t get my prize until AFTER four million people died in a pointless quagmire.”) Dr. Rothman says: “Another great cartoon by Mr. Fish! THE REASON I read L.A. Weekly.”
WRITE TO US
L.A. Weekly invites comments from readers. We prefer letters that are signed and include a phone number for verification. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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