Thursday, October 11, 2012

L.A. Councilman Who Made the Case for Medical Pot Not Seeing Reelection

Bill Rosendahl, the Los Angeles councilman whose passionate testimony in support of medical marijuana was instrumental in overturning the city's wholesale dispensary ban, will not be seeking reelection for his seat.

Rosendahl, whose West L.A. district includes Westchester to Pacific Palisades, made the announcement and that his reason was to concentrate on his cancer treatment. The support he gave to the cause of medical marijuana wasn't the first time Rosendahl was in the political spotlight for his progressive views. As the first openly gay man elected to the L.A. city council, he is a champion of gay rights issues.

Prior to his career in politics, Rosendahl was a talk show host and producer. He is determined to beat his disease, and told the L.A. Times that he would like to return to TV or radio if his health improves.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dispensary Owner, Law Enforcer Agree that I-502 if Flawed, but for Different Reasons

The Herald profiled battle lines being drawn over Washington state's I-502 ballot initiative and the strange alliances being formed on both sides. Groups that found themselves on opposite ends of marijuana prohibition are finding that they have common goals, albeit for different reasons.

Jeremy Kelsey, who runs the Medical Marijuana Patients Network and whose shop won the gold cup in a recent High Times expo, voiced his skepticism at decriminalizing marijuana in the state before it's reclassified at the federal level. And he also is concerned that if the Washington initiative passes, the feds will continue to conduct raids against storefronts — any storefronts — that sell pot.

Kelsey's opposition to I-502 is joined by Pat Slack, commander of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. His reasons for opposing the measure are because it enforcement of the law isn't spelled out for law enforcement officers like himself. Although anyone over the age of 21 would be allowed to possess marijuana, anyone younger would be arrested and tried under existing state laws regarding the drug.

"Who's most negatively impacted by being arrested for possession? Our youth. It impacts their ability to get jobs and get college funding. Initiative 502 doesn't do anything for them — nothing," he told the newspaper.