Opinion from the Los Angeles Dragnet on City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s latest ‘Jackboot’ policy to ban medical marijuana.
They say that the third time’s the charm, but it seems that’s not the case when it comes to Carmen Trutanich’s three attempts to create laws to protect legitimate medical marijuana patients. In reality his laws were, in effect, thinly and poorly disguised attempts to defy the state’s permissive medical marijuana laws. The first two were struck down as ‘unconstitutional.’ A third, proposes a lottery to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, but it too seems unlikely to pass legal muster.
Faced with further proof that he fundamentally cannot cope with complex legal issues, and perhaps in an effort to avoid a ‘Three strikes and you’re out’ analogy, Trutanich made a rare appearance at the Public Safety Committee on Friday, January 13, 2012. His recommendation was the abandonment of any regulation whatsoever in favor of an outright ban; the ‘Jackboot’ approach that seems to be his solution to legal issues beyond his legal capabilities.
The move towards another ‘scorched earth’ outright ban should not surprise those who have seen the way the part-time, night-time, unaccredited law school educated former ambulance chaser plaintiff’s attorney turned career politician has struggled and failed to cope with complex legal issues. His frustration at his own ineptitude is likely the cause of his thuggish, bully-boy behavior as witnessed in the now infamous screaming session at a Town Hall meeting on medical marijuana.
Perhaps the way the City Attorney berated Kathryn, a cancer patient who uses medical marijuana, should have tipped-off observers that Trutanich’s thin-skinned super-ego cannot handle being challenged, questioned or criticized. Kathryn was barely able to complete a sentence challenging his Voodoo science conclusions about pesticide in marijuana before the ‘lost it’ and interrupted Kathryn repeatedly screaming “Wrong! You’re wrong!” mocking the shocked woman urging her to “go home and feed your children insecticide and lead toys,” and telling her to “Sit down and shut up.”
Kathryn wasn’t the only person shocked at Trutanich’s short temper and thug-like behavior. His own handlers promptly made the decision not to allow him to appear in public meetings where his failed logic can be challenged, perhaps explaining why he did not appear at the recent District Attorney candidates’ forum.
But if Trutanich’s short temper and rapid resort to bullying was not evident at Friday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, his well documented struggle with the concept of truth was. He described his solution to his failed laws as a ‘Gentle ban’ on medical marijuana that would “allow patients and caregivers to cultivate and have access to marijuana.” Of course, what he did not say is that his so-called ‘Gentle ban’ is nothing more than the a rehash ‘cut and paste’ of the 1996 Prop 215 Compassionate Use Act, and is completely devoid of any of the provisions of the later 2003 SB420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act.
It’s yet another example of the duplicity and deception that has characterized the Trutanich regime. As the City Attorney, he was charged with the task of carrying out the will of the City Council in formulating a workable law to allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries. But instead of pushing the envelope and creating a permissive law, he promulgated laws that were doomed to fail because they expressed his own restrictive and, as was seen by his behavior towards Kathryn, dismissive view of medical marijuana.
Sarah Armstrong, a medical marijuana advocate who helps run a dispensary in Reseda, told the LA Times that she decried Trutanich’s proposal and said she and others have been trying for years to get the city to adopt a workable ordinance. She said that hundreds of ‘rogue’ dispensaries that have opened up in recent years have given a bad rap to older, more responsible operations that want to follow the law and cooperate with the city. “We’re tired of being tarred with the same brush,” she said.
She dismissed the proposed prohibition as politically motivated because of Trutanich’s District Attorney aspirations. Armstrong said “there’s no such thing as a gentle ban.” She is right, and Trutanich knows it, but he hasn’t got the decency to say it, nor the legal ability to solve the problem.
The next District Attorney for Los Angeles County will have to offer voters more than ‘Jackboot’ solutions to law enforcement problems, and have greater respect for cancer patients who have neither the time, ability or capacity to ‘grow their own.’ Trutanich’s ‘Gentle ban’ is not a solution, it is a regressive goose-step back into the dark ages. Los Angeles deserves better than anything this clown has to offer.