Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Sorting out the latest medical marijuana news

Medical Marijuana

Bear Guerra/KPCC

Marijuana plants for sale at Studio City's Perennial Holistic Wellness Center. It remains open, but federal agents have raided nine other dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Federal agents bust a bunch of L.A. and Orange County pot shops.

A San Diego judge says its OK to purchase pot.

Medical marijuana news can leave you in a haze. Let’s sort out the latest:

First, federal prosecutors Thursday said agents arrested a dozen people associated with a chain of nine marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange Counties on drug trafficking charges.

“Most of the stores previously were the subject of search warrants executed in 2010 and 2011,” read a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. “Most of the nine stores are now closed, but several are believed to still be in operation.”

Prosecutors allege one dispensary - Safe Harbor Collective in Dana Point - made $2.5 million in 2009. Shop owner John Melvin Walker allegedly told his bookkeeper “to destroy all records pertaining to income.” He also allegedly possessed an AK-47, and nearly $400,000 in cash. Walker’s attorney did not return a phone call for comment.


Pollsters say dwindling support for Prop 30 makes passage 'improbable'

Gov. Jerry Brown at UCLA

Sharon McNary/KPCC

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in support of Prop. 30 at a recent rally at UCLA.

A new statewide poll out Thursday shows Proposition 30 in a tight race, with voter support for Governor Jerry Brown’s tax-hike plan to fund schools slipping below 50 percent for the first time.

According to the USC Dornsife/LA Times poll, 46 percent of likely voters said they’ll vote for the temporary sales and income tax hike to fund schools and public safety, 42 percent said they’ll vote against it. 

Pollster Dan Schnur says Prop 30's main proponent has to go further if wants to close the sale: “Governor Brown has successfully convinced voters that more spending on the state’s public schools is a good thing.  What he has yet to do is convince them that state government can be trusted to spend their tax dollars wisely.” 

 Schnur, who also directs the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, says voters are more open than they have been historically to a tax that increases support for public education, but many distrust Sacramento to spend wisely. Schnur says in earlier polls, for example, voters disapproved of the legislature’s passage of billions in bonds to fund high speed rail.


GOP eating its own in Inland Empire Congressional battle (UPDATE)


Steven Cuevas / KPCC

Republican Congressional candidate Bob Dutton has felt the sting of the state GOP endorsing his same-party opponent, incumbent Gary Miler.

California's so-called "jungle" primary created several interesting pairings for the November ballot. Democrats are facing off against Democrats in half-a-dozen Congressional races. On the GOP side, it's Republican vs. Republican in two House races. 

Some of these contests are under the radar, but a few have erupted into nasty fights, splitting the parties themselves.

Republicans, who pride themselves on avoiding intra-party explosions, have waded into a big one in the Inland Empire.

The party endorsed incumbent Congressman Gary Miller over his challenger, State Senator Bob Dutton. And adding salt to the wound, it used some of the money raised by Dutton to run ads slamming him.

Dutton has been a party loyalist. He served on the GOP's board of directors and raised more than $100,000 for party causes and candidates. Oh, and he was the top Republican in the State Senate the past two years as well.


That's My Issue: Access to healthcare

Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Supporters and protesters gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to find out the ruling on the Affordable Health Act June 28, 2012 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

My wife has breast cancer.

We’re both employed. She isn’t now, she’s staying with the kids, but I’m employed. God forbid tomorrow I don’t have a job, and I try to get her health insurance. Once [the Affordable Care Act] kicks in, she can never be denied again.

This is ridiculous. This idea that just because you’re sick or have been sick, you can be denied — flat-out denied — or just the price is so high that you can’t pay it.

I mean, that’s life-or-death for me and my family — literally life-or-death. And it’s the number one issue.

Let us know how a particular experience has affected your political opinions. Record it online, or drop us a note. Your piece could appear on WNYC and KPCC's websites, as well as on our air. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Support drops for Prop 30, LA cracks down on pet shops, a look at the November propositions

According to the Los Angeles Times, support for Proposition 30 is dropping.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, Oct. 25, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Voters' support for Proposition 30 is dropping, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The findings follow a lackluster month of campaigning by the governor, who had spent little time on the stump and found himself fighting off attacks from backers of a separate ballot measure that would raise taxes for schools," according to the newspaper.

Which Way, L.A.? looks at Propositions 36 and 34, which would change the state's three strikes law and eliminate the death penalty.