PREVEN REPORT-Today the LA City Council moved forward with its confusing and dumb plan to allow for the opening on January 1, 2018 of legal recreational pot shops.
What started as prudent decriminalization of pot-related activities has devolved into a nightmarish maze of punitive regulations and stepped-up enforcement.
The fair-minded relationships thousands of Angelenos who smoke pot have had for years with their small-time suppliers will get upended by the City’s new revenue-gobbling regulatory framework.
The small-time supplier will become public enemy number one -- a tax cheat and flouter of high-octane sale regulations. As for the recreational user, his or her cost of getting pot will triple, because instead of getting his supply from a small-time seller, he or she will be required to buy from a licensed seller subject to onerous state and city taxes -- costs that will get passed on to the consumer.
There’s a Social Equity program built into the City’s new policies. The gist is that it will be easier to get pot-selling licenses for low-income people who suffered at the hands of the old pot laws.
It’s a joke. How about just leaving the small-time seller alone?
(Eric Preven and Joshua Preven are public advocates for better transparency in local government and are occasional contributors to CityWatch. A piece they wrote for CityWatch "It’s Time to End LA’s Secret Meetings: What Do City Council Members and LA’s County Supervisors Have to Hide?" won the LA Press Club award for Online Political Commentary.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.