Why I’m Voting Yes on D and Yes on F – The Fate of Medical Marijuana in LA
Yes stoners, you read that correctly. On May 21st, I’ll be voting yes on both of the competing Los Angeles marijuana dispensary ballot measures (get the facts about them here). I didn’t come to this conclusion on a whim, so spare me the lectures about how I’m shooting myself in the foot. I’m supporting Measures D & F because I refuse to play into the petty political games that threaten to suck the life out of the MMJ movement .
The way I see it, we are all fighting for the same cause- autonomy. I love smoking marijuana, but to me legalization isn’t about my personal preferences so much as the preservation of civil liberties. Make no mistake; the propositions impose problematic regulations designed to limit access and ultimately patients’ freedom.
While I oppose such impositions in principle, I also recognize the reality of the situation. The city must contend with ongoing opposition to MMJ from local neighborhood groups as well as the federal government. At the same time, they need to respect state laws that demand safe, affordable access to medical cannabis patients. The only way to appease patients and prohibitionists alike is to compromise.
Fine. I can accept that. LA doesn’t need collectives on every corner; activists who say otherwise are letting their zealotry overpower common sense.Reasonable regulations are in order to get a handle on the LA scene. But I find Measures D and F equally suspect albeit for different reasons.Under normal circumstances, I would encourage patients to vote them down. But the California State Supreme Court recently empowered municipalities to ban dispensaries outright. So if all registered patient voters don’t take action on Tuesday, the city will likely pass another blanket ban. Except this time we will not be able to challenge the law on its face (prima facie).
I trust we can all agree that Propositions D & F are preferable in light of the inevitable alternative. I could go on about this topic for days, but I’ve whittled my reasoning down to the strongest and weakest aspects of each prop for your consideration.
Measure D Analysis
The Best Part About Measure D
- The City Backs It. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m sick of fighting with City Hall, especially Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. Believe it or not, affirming Measure D is a huge step forward for Mr. “All Sales Are Illegal” Falsetanich. Until now. Trutanich has behaved like a modern day Anslinger hell bent on eradicating MMJ. His reversal on Measure D signifies a willingness to accept collectives as part of the city’s fabric. Far be it from me to discourage his change of heart at the ballot box.
The Worst Part About Measure D
- All the Post-ICOs Will Close. There are lots of regulations I dislike in Measure D. For instance, I really don’t want my shop to face relocation AGAIN! Nevertheless, my chief beef with Measure D comes from the pre/post ICO distinction. On the one hand, the post-ICOs knew what they were getting into before they ever opened their doors. It’s hard to feel sympathy for folks who put themselves in this position, and there are more than a few rotten apples in the bunch. But there are some shady shops that fall into the pre-ICO group, too. And as much as we’d like to think we’re operating within the law, every dispensary is illegal, according to the Department of Justice. I firmly believe that
dispensaries owe our existence to strength in numbers. I don’t want to shift the power balance in the city’s favor, nor do I think 135 shops will be enough to meet patient demand. But 135 sure beats no shops at all.
Measure F Analysis
The Best Part About Measure F
- No Arbitrary Selection. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only good part about Measure F. Collectives will be able to stick around whether or not they registered before the moratorium.This means a level playing field based on compliance, and theoretically more choices for patients.
The Worst Part About Measure F
- Ridiculous Regulations. I would love to embrace F with open arms; unfortunately, I know what it says. That’s why I sincerely believe that most of the Measure F supporters haven’t actually read the damned thing. The laundry list of requirements in Proposition F render pre/post ICO benefits meaningless as no one will be able to comply with all that crap. This explains why the Measure F campaign is ripping pages out of the prohibitionist playbook, left and right. They’re pushing propaganda because they don’t want you to remember where most of the regulations in Measure F come from: the City Council’s own insanely strict proposal from 2009 (ratified in 2010, and promptly dismissed by the court). I’m not sure why no one is calling attention to this open secret. Frankly I see this deception as an insult to voter intelligence. The F campaign repeatedly questioned Prop D because the city was involved in its creation. Follow their logic and F fails, too. So let’s cut the crap about “protecting patients” from pesticides and the faux outrage over “criminals” volunteering at collectives, shall we? I will be
voting Yes on F, but I couldn’t do so without expressing my disgust over this blatant hypocrisy. We as a community should hold ourselves to higher ethical standards. Period.
We’re Damned If We Do, But Fucked If We Don’t.
I cannot, in good conscience, watch the community collapse due to infighting and apathy. On May 21st, I’m picking the hammer and the nail…and putting my energy into statewide legalization efforts. I’d like to remind everyone that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if we could’ve found common ground when Prop 19 hit the ballot. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
Source: The original article was posted here on 420cali.com