Pot, power and politics

Notes on events large and small

It’s now been two years since the June 30, 2010, police commando raids on eight medical-marijuana collectives in Butte County, and still nobody is facing charges.

Justice delayed is justice denied, as the saying goes, but justice—viz., a speedy trial—was never the purpose. District Attorney Mike Ramsey, who masterminded the raids, wanted first and foremost to shut down the dispensaries and strike fear in the hearts of anyone else thinking of opening one, and in that he was totally successful.

Meanwhile, most of those whose possessions—computers, bank accounts, financial records—were seized haven’t gotten them back. The DA’s Office keeps saying it intends to file charges, but it doesn’t do so. The statute of limitations is three years, so the DA is in no hurry. Or maybe he has no evidence of criminal wrong-doing.

Either way, it’s hard not to feel cynical about the heavy-handed arm of the law and all that…

What did they expect? Our local assemblymen, Dan Logue and Jim Nielsen, have their knickers in a twist these days because the Democratic-led Legislature has decided to delay the opening of new veterans’ homes in Redding and Fresno. “This mistreatment of our veterans is outrageous!” Logue harrumphed in a press release.

Nobody wants to hurt veterans, of course. The problem is the huge budget deficit, which the Democrats are trying to fill with no help from Logue and Nielsen or their fellow Republicans, who refuse to do anything to increase revenues. And yet they bitch because projects they support will open in October 2013 rather than April 2013.

Speaking of Logue, he’s so discombobulated by the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare that he’s “considering” authoring a ballot measure to stop its implementation in California. I have a suggestion for him: While you’re considering, Dan, remember what happened last time you authored a ballot measure: Proposition 23 to overturn the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. It sank like a stone, dude. Forget about it…

Banging on the City Council: It’s an election year, so the City Council is taking some hits. Candidate Toby Schindelbeck’s letter on page 6 is an example. What you wouldn’t know from reading it is that the council held a special meeting on June 5 designed to answer Schindelbeck’s and others’ questions. I thought city officials did a pretty good job, but Schindelbeck wasn’t buying it. You can decide for yourself by reading—at http://tinyurl.com/council6-5 —my account of the meeting.

The editorialists at the Chico E-R also took a potshot at the council in a June 30 “Hits and misses” item about library hours. The city has reduced its contribution to the library to $100,000, which led the county supervisors, “who have done a much better job of minding taxpayer money than the Chico City Council,” says the E-R, to allocate an additional $32,000 to keep the library open longer.

Let’s see if I understand this: It’s the county library, but the county is so broke that the city is donating $100,000 to keep the Chico branch’s hours up, but somehow the supervisors have done a better job financially? Right…

Robert Speer is editor of the CN&R.