Friday, January 25, 2013

A Primary Election in the City of Los Angeles

This evening five Los Angeles Mayoral Candidates participated in a candidates’ forum facilitated by the League of Women Voters and sponsored by numerous neighborhood councils and residential interests and held in the back of the Forest Lawn Cemetery. 

There is a Primary Election in the City of Los Angeles on March 5, 2013.  In addition to a new mayor voters can choose a new controller, city attorney and eight council seats are up for grabs.  However, statistically most LA voters will not participate.  Voter fatigue from The 2012 Election is one reason; a lack of knowledge is another.  LA conveniently has its elections when most voters aren’t paying attention, so to speak.  Here’s what the full race looks like:

The five Candidates addressed questions about the suspected topics: jobs and business, taxes, infrastructure, city pensions, staff raises, utility hikes and… medical marijuana.

The five Candidates placated their public safety conscience audience by supporting strict regulatory schemes and limiting the number of collectives to 100 to 200; none of the Candidates stated support for an all-out ban.  They outwardly appeared to recognize the need for ‘compassion clinics’ – just a lot fewer.  There were jibes made about LA having more collectives than Starbucks.  While that might be true, Starbucks isn’t the only place one can get coffee in LA.  One can get a cup of coffee in City Hall. 

A very brief synopsis of their 90-second answers in order on what each would do as mayor on the medical marijuana issue:
Current Councilmember Jan Perry said she ‘sees it as a land use issue’ and supports keeping dispensaries away from residential areas;
Former assistant to the current LA mayor and former Goldman Sachs employee Emmanuel Pleitez folded the question into an overall ‘drug issue’ regarding public safety and violence in neighborhoods;
Current Controller and former councilmember Wendy Greuel declared the City has the ‘right to regulate’ and pointed to continued lawsuits due to lack of regulation;
Current Counclmember and former council president Eric Garcetti wants rescheduling and federal involvement in turning  marijuana into a ‘medicine;’
And Former U.S. prosecutor, conservative talk radio show host and AIDS patient advocate Kevin James wants to allow 150 collectives, spread out more evenly across the city.

PAN will continue to forward any pertinent election information.  If you are not registered at your current address, you have until February 19, 2013, and can do so at

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