Patt Morrison for March 25, 2010

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For a plant that is already so widely consumed, sold, traded and transported throughout California, sometimes one has to remember that marijuana is in fact still illegal. But if a group has its way, and California voters approve of the idea in November, pot just might be a fully legal commodity. The secretary of state’s office certified today that the petitions seeking to place the question of marijuana legalization on the November ballot had enough voter signatures to qualify. If approved the initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of pot and to freely cultivate the plant. While California would ostensibly become the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana, federal laws would still classify pot as a class I drug. Even if California’s voters are feeling a little stony, will the Feds allow us to legalize it?
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Controller Wendy Greuel tracks the city’s money

California’s legislature isn’t the only institution with problems balance a budget. The City Controller has conducted a series of audits on spending and the results are not pretty. From $25 million added to district discretionary funds by council members to $500 million in questionable city spending, the Controller is cracking down on city officials at a time when Los Angeles is facing major budget deficits, including a projected decrease in revenue for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. We speak to City Controller Wendy Greuel about the unfolding Los Angeles city budget saga.
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Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti walks us through this week’s vote on the proposed DWP rate hike, the recently passed ordinance that cuts taxes for internet-based businesses in L.A. and the cities spending freeze. The council president joined L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on a trip to Washington D.C. last week to petition the Feds to fork over some cash so the city can get going on numerous infrastructure projects. We’ll find out what those projects are and how many jobs they are expected to create. We’ll also ask about the “city council seven” who refuse to take pay-cuts despite the fact that their colleagues and many state workers have had to make the sacrifice.
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Enthusiastic Jeff Garlin curbs his footprint

You may know Jeff Garlin from his role as Larry David’s producer on the HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Pleasantly plump and pleasantly frank, Garlin is known for his gut-splitting dialogue and blasé attitude, but now he’s going green and slimming down. In his book, My Footprint, Garlin tells the story of his eating addiction and the journey he’s taken to lose weight, get healthy and save the planet, one recyclable at a time.
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