Thu07022015

Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 8am

LOS ANGELES Thursday, July 2nd 2015 11:14

 IT'S ABOUT R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Using The N-Word

Clinton Galloway
WHO WE ARE-Somehow it has become acceptable to use racial slurs as long as they are directed at yourself. The fact is they are rarely directed at you but to someone else. The most glaring example of this is the use of the N-word. I need say no more because we all understand what the N-word is. The extensive use of the word in modern hip-hop and…

‘LA Is Not Designed To Work’

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is a sprawling enterprise with 32,000 employees and an annual budget of $8.6 billion. But according to Rick Cole, the City’s former Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, “LA is not designed to work." Our City’s operations are relatively simple compared to Los Angeles County and other large cities such as New…

SCOTUS Supports the People, Okays California’s Citizen-Driven Redistricting Commission

Deirdre Fulton
NO MORE SECRET BACKROOMS RUN BY POLITICIANS-In a decision hailed as a "major victory for voters," the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld an Arizona ballot initiative, adopted by voters in 2000, which took redistricting power away from elected politicians and gave it to a nonpartisan commission. The 5-4 decision (pdf), which saw Justice Anthony…

To Latinos Trump Is Bad News

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-This past week businessman Donald Trump announced that he will seek the 2016 Republican nomination for President. We all paid attention to his speech, not for great policy ideas but because he said that “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of…

Supreme Court Aftermath: Meet the New Haters, As Repugnant as the Old Haters

Ken Alpern
HATE POLITICS-The Supreme Court has spoken...again and again and again. And now we're encountering a group of New Haters, as repugnant as the Old Haters, as we discover who is REALLY on the side of Love, Country and Humanity versus that once-marginalized group of emotionally- and intellectually-stunted individuals who now somehow think they're not…

About Time! Neighborhood Councils, NC Alliances: More Comment Time at City Council

Erik Sanjurjo
GUEST WORDS-On Saturday, Council President Herb Wesson gave the keynote speech before the 100+ Neighborhood Council board members and stakeholders gathered for NC Budget Day in City Hall. He announced that in the next Council term he will be folding in neighborhood council related issues under his Rules & Elections Committee, partly to help…

Councilman Parks Sidewalk Repair Plan: Bypass Union Workers

Sharon McNary
CITY HALL-The city of Los Angeles has fallen so far behind on sidewalk repairs, it took a lawsuit to get officials to guarantee more than a billion dollars for repairs. It could take years before the work reaches residential areas because the city must still come up with a strategy for which sidewalks to fix first. But some neighborhoods are…

I Never Believed This Would Happen In My Lifetime

Andrew Sullivan
GUEST WORDS-As Gandhi never quite said … First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win. I remember one of the first TV debates I had on the then-strange question of civil marriage for gay couples. It was Crossfire, as I recall, and Gary Bauer’s response to my rather earnest argument after my TNR cover-story on…

Changing the Way We See Ourselves: Every American Should Adopt a Second Country

Andrés Martinez
TRADE WINDS-About 10 minutes into the soccer game, Sebastian’s cries of “here,” “behind you,” and “cross it” became cries of “aquí,” “atrás,” and “al centro.” I’d never heard so much Spanish voluntarily pour out of my ten-year-old. There is nothing like a hunger for the ball. And nothing like full immersion in a foreign language. I brought…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Golden Oldie-Johnnie Carson & Betty White-Adam and Eve

Rude. Rude. Rude … orchestra deals with rude cell caller

Whoa! More than 280 million hits. Taylor Swift hit-Bad Blood

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Pot Pharms: Responsible Dispensaries or Roach Motels?

OUT OF THE PAN - In its continuing effort to be as sensationalistic as possible, the Los Angeles Times this Sunday ran what purported to be a big expose on the medical cannabis industry under the heading, “The Green Rush.”
Set aside that this sounds like maybe the worst Marvel superhero, or perhaps what happens at an environmentalist frat house. What exactly have they exposed here? That the industry is weakly regulated? That there are too many sketchy players in this industry? That there’s a lot of uncertainty moving forward?
(Ed note: City Council plans to take up two proposals to control pot shops in LA this Friday. See agenda at lacity.org)

I’m not really sure that the LA Times is the first to point this stuff out, but it’s all true and it does deserve to be said again. The article takes an in-depth look at court records and police records to show that a sizeable chunk of the industry appears to be primarily concerned with profiting off of patients – in apparent violation of 1996’s Compassionate Use Act.

As the Times points out, “Few would suggest that everyone in the industry is making huge profits; many dispensaries do struggle to stay afloat.” (The article also acknowledges, almost as an afterthought, “the relief truly ill patients” get from the medicine – relief they would be denied were dispensaries to be banned.)

Why are some dispensaries raking in money while others struggle? Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s because some dispensaries try to play by the rules – at least so far as there are rules and they’re understood.

One dispensary owner profiled in the piece – described as “struggling just to make payroll” – pays “state and federal taxes, workers’ compensation and liability insurance for employees, as well as attorney fees,” taking her own salary “when she can.” This responsible behavior puts her at a competitive disadvantage relative to those who try to stay underground and save on all of those costs.

At a recent forum, I heard one dispensary owner talk about the additional costs of properly classifying his staff as W-2 employees, and paying all employment taxes – while the sketchy operators proliferating nearby were classifying their staff as 1099 “independent contractors.” (I’ve written previously about why this matters.)

These are the sorts of distinctions that differentiate types of dispensaries: those that are trying to operate responsibly versus those that are out for a quick buck. And unfortunately, there are way too many out for the quick buck.

(As a side note, let’s recognize what it means for an establishment to be a not-for-profit. It does not mean that it receives no income. It does not mean that no one receives a salary. Dispensaries still need to pay their staff. Do you think that the head of the United Way takes no compensation? (More than $800,000 in 2010.) Do you think that the 30,000 employees of the Red Cross work for free? Hell, do you think that I work for free? I’m sure that we could all do better in the private sector, but even I have a mortgage to pay.)

The problem is that the City of Los Angeles – along with most nearby cities – has steadfastly refused to provide a firm regulatory scheme in which these responsible players can operate—and which would allow the city to then shut down all of the quick-buck profit-takers. The city has been asleep at the switch, and while it’s been snoozing, the low-road operators have spread like, well, like kudzu. (What did you think I was going to say?)

As the union – Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers now represents workers at more than 20 responsible, high-road dispensaries – has repeatedly pointed out (and has been echoed by other voices), Yes, we need strong regulations. Yes, we need to get the sketchiness out of this industry. Yes, we need real, enforceable standards for patients and for workers. Yes, we need to seriously crack down and get rid of most of the dispensaries currently operating.

And the city needs to move on this posthaste. This means clarity and regulations and enforcement, but it does not mean a total ban on the high-road operators.

For the sake of patients and workers, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

(Jon Zerolnick is LAANE’s research director. This piece was posted first at fryingpannews.org)
-cw

Tags: Jon Zerolnick, pot pharms, pot shops, medical marijuana shops, medical pot, City Attorney, City Hall, Los Angles









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 49
Pub: June 19, 2012

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