Big Banks, Medical Marijuana and the LAPD
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US Attorney General Eric Holder won't prosecute for medical marijuana, even though it's illegal under federal law. What will that mean in Los Angeles, where the District Attorney and the City Attorney say dispensaries are violating state law? Also, a conversation with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa about a hiring freeze at the Los Angeles Police Department. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, even Alan Greenspan says it's time to break up financial institutions that are "too big to fail." But is it too late even to regulate the banks and brokerages that caused the financial meltdown? Does a new agency for consumer finance protection have a chance?
Banner image: Dave Warden, a bud tender at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary, displays various types of marijuana available to patients in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
Is It Time to Bust the Trusts Again? ()
In a major shift from his days as head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan said last week that America's major financial institutions are "too big to fail." He said that means they're too big and ought to be broken up. But even new regulations to limit excessive risk and protect consumer finance may be in trouble on Capitol Hill.
US Attorneys Told to Go after Pot Traffickers, Not Patients ()
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 15 states, including California, have legalized it for medicinal use. Today US Attorney General Eric Holder reversed national policy and ordered federal authorities not to arrest or charge suppliers or users who conform to state laws. Los Angeles has more marijuana dispensaries than any place else, between 800 and 1000 — more than there are public schools. District Attorney Steve Cooley, who's up for re-election next year, says "about 100 percent…are operating illegally." That's because, he insists, they are making money. Cooley declined to appear tonight on WWLA?, as did City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who agrees with Cooley's conclusion.
- Josh Meyer: Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, @JoshMeyerDC
- Don Duncan: California Director, Americans for Safe Access, @SafeAccess
- Bruce Margolin: Executive Director, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws' Los Angeles Chapter
Mayor Villaraigosa and the LAPD ()
Since Bill Bratton became chief of the LAPD, the number of cops has increased and crime has gone down. But the city faces a shortfall of $405 million. Two city council committees voted to stop police recruitment and hiring from now until January, which could reduce the force by 300 officers. Tomorrow, the Council will vote on a compromise that would keep it at almost 10,000 by hiring enough new officers to replace those who quit or retire. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa supports that plan.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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