GUEST COMMENTARY-At the Congress of Neighborhoods on Saturday, September 22, 2018, there was a cannabis session at which most of the focus was on what the rules are for retailers. Plenty of questions were asked.
First of all, are neighborhood councils going to have a mandated voice in this issue? The answer seems to be NO. While the public hearings will take place, there is no mandate that applicants go before their local NC.
Many questions about enforcement were raised, such as:
Are there enough police to address the issues?
Is there enough money?
Why are shops in the southern area being targeted, especially considering the social justice, social equity program that was built in because the area had been targeted in the past?
Why are westside shops still operating illegally? These are shops that are acknowledged to not have a BTRC, not have a state permit, not be selling compliant product – all known to the city attorney, police locally and citywide.
If the city and state want to gain credibility and collect taxes, they must enforce the laws.
Why is DWP not cutting off power, per the ordinance?
Why are the local narcotics divisions not closing down known illegal stores?
Where is the State in all of this?
Why don't we have a special team of officers, similar to the police commission investigation division, that does nothing but close down illegal shops?
The citizens demand answers – no more rhetoric and abba dabba.
(Jay Handal is a board member of the West LA NC, Co-Chair of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates and works as a consultant to the cannabis industry.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.
Tags: Jay Handal, cannabis laws, illegal pot shops, enforcement of cannabis rules