National Anti-Prohibition Group Likes San Francisco (but not LA)
You’d think that Los Angeles’ 800-1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries would be considered some sort of success to pro-legalization advocates in Washington, D.C. According to an article in today’s Chron by C.W. Nevius, you would be wrong:
“If you wanted to write a textbook on how to screw up medical marijuana,” said Bruce Mirken, the San Francisco-based communications director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, “the first thing you should do is hire the Los Angeles City Council.”
Mirken’s low opinion of the state of medical cannabis in California’s most populous city isn’t a case of pious provincialism, it’s the worst-kept secret in the entire pro-pot movement. More after the jump…
Of course, to compare L.A. to San Francisco for the purposes of possibly using the latter as a model for the former is tricky at best. Because of the vastness and population density of the City of Angels, SF’s simple, yet effective policy may not scale.
But the bigger problem for Angelenos is the lack of will of its board of supervisors to be as proactive in its post-Prop. 215 policies as SF’s board. It is difficult to explain the enormous gulf in the culture of these two cities in their attitude toward implementing Prop. 215. Los Angeles has more in common with municipalities in the Central Valley which have been downright hostile in their approaches (or lack thereof) to medical cannabis than it does with the city by the bay.
All of which brings needed attention for clearer policy direction and oversight on a state level. Not just on the dispensary issue, but on the equally pressing issue of cultivation. Now that the Feds have officially backed off, there’s simply no excuse.
Ideally, says Mirken, a state-level plan for clear and consistent cultivation rules would be implemented, but that’s a long way off. He seems to have some hope for SF’s own home-grown attempts, via a medical marijuana task force, to implement “city-controlled growing.” And there’s momentum for it with city officials.
As for C.W. Nevus’ column in general, his cartoonish reference to brownies and bongs is every bit as embarrassing as an old Aunt Jemima bottle, and a cringe-worthy conceit for a major media outlet in one of America’s most progressive cities.
Nevus later sheepishly admits that Campos’ proposal DOES make sense. But he just HAD to go there. Hey Nevus, when hate crime legislation comes up, why not joke about disco balls and Barbra Streisand?
C.W.’s clearly not ignorant about the issue of medical cannabis – so why sink to the level of a Fox News pundit? You’re on SFGate. I realize it’s not Mother Jones, but consider your audience. You’re talking down to them. If they can handle Violet Blue, they can handle a sober assessment of a serious subject.
How embarrassing that your readership is smarter than you are.