Drug Law

LA Weekly: Illegal Mexican Pot in Dispensaries

| by Reason Foundation

By Brian Doherty

The L.A. Weekly, which played a key role in ginning up political pressure to "do something" about the utter non-crisis of over the counter medical marijuana in Los Angeles, asserts through assertion that there must be weed from Mexican drug cartels filling these stores, because, well...come on man!

It's a notion that's hard to believe: Mexican cartels don't operate grows in the National Forests right here in California? They don't run area grow houses? Not an ounce of Mexican weed ends up in your local pot shop? Really?

When I asked Capt. Kevin McCarthy, the Los Angeles Police Department’s commanding officer for gangs and narcotics, about this cartel/dispensary link for my May 2010 Reason magazine cover feature on the saga of L.A.'s anti-pot store mania, he too believed it must be true. He also admitted that proving it would be “labor intensive to do, and we don’t have resources to do it.”

The Weekly has been nosing around the local pot scene with hostility for years now...surely they can do better in providing strong evidence for this accusation. (Unless, just maybe, there isn't a whole lot of truth to it.)

Last week, reporting on the latest iteration of L.A.'s ever-changing (nowadays, in response to court actions) regs on medical pot stores that will reduce them to 100, the Weekly shed crocodile tears over how that "seems like a small amount of dispensaries for a city that has become the pot shop capital of the world." Yup. Which is why all the Weekly's agitation for the City Council to do something about them, and painting them as facilitating criminal recreational use and Mexican drug cartels, was the very opposite of public service journalism.