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Why can’t Los Angeles enforce its own laws?

A massage parlor in Los Angeles, CA
A massage parlor in Los Angeles, CA
lizceralde/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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Massage parlors, marijuana clinics, billboards gone wild…all of these elements are considered blights on the landscape of Los Angeles and although city council has attempted to regulate all of them, the laws as they stand are not being stringently enforced. Obviously the city is in a severe budget crisis which means less funding for the city attorney's office and other agencies that are tasked with overseeing these businesses. Nonetheless, citizens have a right to expect a certain level of enforcement. Is the proliferation of massage parlors, which after all are places for consenting adults, a problem worthy of more attention? Is the spread of billboards and marijuana clinics cause for concern in this belt-tightening era? One could argue that these are actually stimulating the economy. How are other cities managing to keep a reign on these same issues? Is Los Angeles right to save its resources for other issues? Or should laws be enforced at all costs?


Rick Orlov, City Hall reporter for the LA Daily News