For pot’s sake!
Medical marijuana has a way of creating, ahem, a buzz. (Sorry.) Paul Teetor’s story (“L.A. Medical-Pot Shops Peddle to LAUSD Pupils,” Nov. 4) was no exception. “Why is the headline about the LAUSD?” wonders Dan from West Hills. “The City Council deals with zoning issues and regulating businesses, not the school board. The school board needs to focus on education, not the proliferation of pot dispensaries. Was the point of this article to blame the LAUSD for someone else’s lack of action, or was the school board mentioned only so you could promote Tamar Galatzan’s run for City Council?”

Stickman from Torrance wonders if L.A. Weekly “is trying too hard to guide the news, rather than just report it. Such a polemical article!”

All polemical asides aside, there are a couple of issues here, one of which is noted by Downtown Citizen: “There is another pot shop next door to the YWCA school in downtown Los Angeles. The front door on the 1000 block of South Hill Street is 20 feet from a bus shelter used as a clubhouse for the students. I’ve never seen anyone over the age of 30 in the waiting area. Mostly gangbangers buying ‘get out of jail free’ cards. When I went to their Web site to see what kind of doctor would attach themselves to a pot shop, I found a doctor’s name. When I Googled the doctor, I found out that the entire Web page was a template and the doctor didn’t exist. Nice. … I’m glad to see the city is right on top of this.”

But TruthTeller from L.A. asks: “How can the L.A. City Council be expected to find time in their busy three-day schedule of legislating, followed by their busy four-day schedule of holding fund-raisers for their next political campaign, to address this situation?

“DON’T those concerned regarding the explosion of ‘medical’-marijuana outlets know that in order for the City Council to be aware of and find the time to address any city problem, the concerned citizens need to sponsor a few fund-raisers and line up some donors to the political-campaign coffers of our local politicians?

“MONEY talks and gets things done in this town. Always been that way and always will be that way.”

A couple of readers suggest we relax a bit: “I’ve worked at three different collectives, in West Hollywood, Van Nuys and Canoga Park,” writes Dac from Los Angeles. “And ONCE in the entire time did we have a kid under 18 come in with a permit. Despite his unhappiness, we wouldn’t serve him. As I suspect most places wouldn’t.”

What’s more, writes Devin from Westwood, the Weekly is overlooking a simple fact, “that ALL dispensaries are required and DO check the patient’s California ID. … Yes, the system is unregulated, yes, weed stores turn a profit, but no, they do not explicitly cater to an underage market. They have plenty of clientele and a lot to lose for it to be worth their while — most have voluntarily adopted a 21-plus age requirement to avoid the scandal.”

Rail vs. Bus?
Dennis Romero pushed buttons with his article on transportation in L.A. County (“L.A. Light Rail? Or Keep Your Car?,” Nov. 4). “Geez,” writes Donald Stanwood from Stanton. “Your piece, though informative, reads like a screed from the Bus Riders Union from a decade ago. Rail lines are ‘all underutilized’? Certainly not the Red, Purple and Blue lines. Can we get behind this zero-sum bus/rail argument and move on?”

This point is seconded by Angeleno: “As a bus and a rail rider … I also plead we move past parochial back-biting. We live in an integrated county; we do not hunker down in isolated ‘sides’ or ‘valleys’ or ‘empires.’ Attempting to pit one group of county residents against another is despicable demagoguery; it helps ensure we will all sink together.”

Sink or swim, the Weekly’s pro–Bus Riders Union stance irked readers like Dan W. from West Hollywood: “No one with any understanding of transportation policy gives the BRU any credibility on these issues anymore. Bus alignments may be ‘flexible,’ but buses have MUCH higher per-person operating costs. This whole ‘flexibility’ argument negates the fact that rail brings development and land-use patterns which reinforced the ridership on the rail lines. Do yourself a favor and ignore the long-since discredited BRU. If you want to learn more about responsible and effective transportation policy in Southern California, contact organizations such as Southern California Transit Advocates and the Transit Coalition instead.”

A lot of readers address Congressman Henry Waxman’s role in building — and not building — the Red Line. But Jeffrey from Santa Monica was so articulate, we’ll give him the last several words:

“As long as everyone’s pointing out that Waxman put the kabosh on the subways to keep the hoi polloi out of the Westside — using the methane-gas spill under the current Fairfax area as an excuse — let’s add that it was Zev Yaroslavsky who put Waxman up to it, who insisted that Waxman force Congress not to give L.A. a dime for the subway, while they were throwing money at every other city. Now Zev’s behind the subway because even the septuagenarian rich people who fought it for decades are too stuck in traffic, and realize they have no alternative.

“While we’re in the accuracy biz — let’s not forget that the Eastside Latinos fought the Red Line being extended into the Westside back when it was built in the ’80s, though studies then — like now — showed that the downtown-to–Santa Monica corridor would be most used and do the best job in relieving surface traffic.

“THIS time around, the same Eastside reps, notably the Glorias Molina and Romero, have joined forces with the conservative Republicans (Don) Knabe and (Mike) Antonovich to say that it’s all ‘elitism’ to put the subway where it belongs. Never mind that the San Gabriel and San Fernando valley commuters, and the South Bay, make up the biggest part of commuters who clog and pollute the Westside every day.

“YES, it’s this kind of parochial pandering to their own little demographic against the good of the region as a whole that’s left us as the only big city ANYWHERE, first OR second world, without a sensible subway that actually gets people where they want to go.”

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