Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA city voters could dramatically reduce access to medical marijuana

Reed Moran smells a variety of marijuana shown to him by President and CEO Sam Humeid (L) of the Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in 2006, on July 25, 2012 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images

Los Angeles city voters will choose between three medical marijuana measures on the May 21 ballot. At stake is the fate of hundreds of marijuana dispensaries.

A Studio City strip mall is home to the Perennial Wellness Center. You wouldn’t know it’s a medical marijuana dispensary, except for the telltale green cross and opaque windows. Inside, owner Sam Humeid shows off his array of products.

“We have a shelf full of edibles,” he said. “Everything from teas and honey sticks to full strength brownies and peppermint patties.”

When one of his regular customers walks in, Humeid warmly greets him. Kevin Kipnis, 49, prefers marijuana to codeine or anything stronger for the back pain he suffers as a result of a car accident.

“Usually a couple hits in the morning, couple hits at night, and I’m pretty good,” he said.


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LA City Council Race: Choi accuses O’Farrell of xenophobic attacks

Mitch O'Farrell, left, and John Choi are competing to represent the 13th city council district in Los Angeles.
Frank Stoltze

In a heated exchange at a debate in Hollywood Wednesday night, 13th District city council candidate John Choi accused rival Mitch O’Farrell of attempting to stir xenophobia among voters.

“My opponent has continued to attack me from day one, using language like ‘new arrival,' ‘outsider,’ and ‘not one of us,’” Choi told an audience inside Karapetian Hall at St. Garabed Armenian Church. “That type of language has been used for decades to raise xenophobic fears of outsiders and immigrants.”

Choi, 32, who is Korean American, pointed to a red campaign mailer that features a grainy picture of him above the words “not from our community.”

O’Farrell, 52, disavowed the mailer, which was sent by an independent committee. “I didn’t like it anymore than you did, John. I thought it was a terrible picture,” O’Farrell said. “Any sort of hint of discrimination has no place in a campaign.”


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Poll: Wendy Greuel leads Eric Garcetti in mayor's race

The mayor's race is neck and neck, according to a poll released Thursday. According to the Pat Brown Institute, Wendy Greuel leads Eric Garcetti by one point.

With just 12 days to go before the mayoral runoff, a poll released Thursday finds Wendy Greuel leading Eric Garcetti by one point — a statistical dead heat.

The survey from the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State L.A. is the latest sign of how unpredictable the race has become. Greuel leads with 46 percent, with Garcetti at 45 percent. Nine percent of voters were undecided.

The numbers are in dramatic contrast to a USC/L.A. Times poll released on April 20th that showed Garcetti with a 10-point lead.

Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute, cautioned that comparing polls is like comparing apples and oranges, as each survey has its own makeup of participants. As for why there may have been such a shift in support in the past three weeks,  he said: "It could be that more people are tuning into the race who weren’t tuned in before."


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South Korean president visits with Mayor Villaraigosa and Gov. Brown

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in purple dress, speaks with California Gov. Jerry Brown, far left, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as their translators listen in the foyer of Getty House.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villlaraigosa hosted South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday at Getty House, the mayor's official residence.

Just blocks from Koreatown, the central point of the city's estimated 300,000 residents with roots in Korea, the mayor toasted the new president saying, "L.A. is unthinkable without its Korean community."

The largest metropolitian concentration of Koreans outside the Korea Peninsula is in Los Angeles.

"In fact on my three visits to Korea, I'm always introduced as the mayor of the 7th largest Korean city," Villaraigosa said, to laughter.

The luncheon was the final event on Park's first official visit as president to the United States since her election in February. Visiting Los Angeles and Korean ex-pats has become a traditional stop for Korean presidents upon taking office. Park visited New York and Washington earlier in the week, and met President Barack Obama. She met with Korean-Americans Wednesday evening in Los Angeles, and stopped by the Getty Center Thursday morning.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: the state of city parks, a new mayoral TV spot, the comeback of Carmen Trutanich?

KPCC looks at the challenges of funding city parks -- and what that means for the next mayor.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, May 9, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Beverly Hills last night to accept an award from the Pacific Council on International Policy, reports the Los Angeles Times.

KPCC looks at the state of city parks. "Without a change in city budget policy or an increase in parcel taxes to fund parks, things will just get worse ... They will continue to cut programs, layoff staff and increase fees to users," the station reports.


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