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Black elected officials pen op-eds, on same day, regarding marijuana sales in South Los Angeles

Assistant manager Dunn Ericson refills a jar of medical marijuana at the River Rock Medical Marijuana Center in Denver, Colorado, on May 16, 2013. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

Two Black elected officials have submitted op-eds to the LA Times on marijuana.  Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas expresses “skepticism surrounding concerns for individual’s health and safety” and Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s op-ed is practically begging for the industry to be allowed in South LA.   Residents in one LA County city has taken to the streets against the industry and the violence drugs brings.  According to Cal-Access, Jones-Sawyer has taken over $25k, from marijuana lobbyists, between 2015-16.  Has Ridley-Thomas not received enough for his full support?

Related:  LACMA expansion, Ridley-Thomas, ‘super PAC’ intersect in email trail

Allegations swirled Ridley-Thomas held a fundraiser for Compton Mayor Aja Brown, in conjunction with marijuana lobbyists, for her 2017 re-election campaign.  Compton residents and members of the clergy and city council recently protested in front of an illegal marijuana dispensary in the city.  Many feel it would lead to more gang violence.

Interestingly, a recent Compton city council candidate, Bill Ivey, delivered a petition to the City Clerk’s office in support of marijuana being allowed in the city.  Residents are confused by Ivey’s referendum considering his step son was a random victim of violence and whose murder remains unsolved.

Related:  Mother of slain Compton rapper: ‘He didn’t mean anything to the shooter, but he meant everything to us’

In January the city council voted to ban all commercial marijuana related activities in the city.  The mayor then went on record, with the LA Wave Newspaper, months later, in support of businesses who support the marijuana industry.

Mayor Aja Brown said that while she does not approve of the dispensaries in Compton, the city might need to back a “secondary market” that supports the industry in order to provide the funding necessary for the investigations to close the shops.

“Anytime there is a particular ban, there will be a black market that pops up,” she said. “We may need to consider allowing shops that sell the supplies for marijuana use or a delivery service to other cities that sell it in order to close the gap.”

With the amount of federal agencies in Compton to solve crime and deter the uptick in shootings/murders, why is this even a question, unless MRT wants to use the proceeds for his predecessor to restore a full trauma center at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital?

Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer has also penned an op-ed begging for marijuana sales in his South LA district, which includes USC.  A sample review of contributions made towards his 2016 re-election included $25k from marijuana related individuals.

Ironically, according to Jones-Sawyer Twitter account, he is the CHAIR of both the Public Safety and Boys and Men of Color committee’s in the States capital.  He also takes a shit load of money from law enforcement, who are strong proponents of legalization. Shouldn’t he be one of the main elected officials denouncing commercial marijuana sales?

NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR EMPLOYER OCCUPATION AMOUNT
CANNABIS ACTION PAC $4,200.00
CANNABIS ACTION PAC $4,000.00
CHRIS LAMBARDI PROCANA LABS COLLECTIVE CEO $1,570.00
GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. $1,500.00
CELGENE CORPORATION $1,500.00
CULTIVATION TECHNOLOGIES, INC. $1,500.00
ABBVIE, INC. $1,000.00
GREENWOLF LOS ANGELES $1,000.00
BRENNAN THICKE DOGHAT, INC. MANAGEMENT $1,000.00
KASS & STOUT $1,000.00
ERICA KRUMPL CORNERSTONE DIRECTOR $1,000.00
RYAN JENNEMANN THL DESIGN OWNER $1,000.00
THOMAS M. FLINTOFT KINDEL GAGEN GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS $500.00
RANDALL YOUNG MARY JANES COLLECTIVE CONSULTANT $500.00
THE GREATER LOS ANGELES COLLECTIVES ALLIANCE $500.00
THE GREATER LOS ANGELES COLLECTIVES ALLIANCE $500.00
CARLOS DE LA TORRE CORNERSTONE COLLECTIVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR $500.00
AARON JUSTIS BUDS AND ROSES PRESIDENT/CEO $500.00
ED BUCK NONE NOT EMPLOYED $500.00
$23,770.00

Read Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ op-ed ‘Why I’m still skeptical about legal marijuana in L.A.’ by clicking here.


2 Responses so far.

  1. HR says:

    It’s time for blacks (including the black church ) to wake up. The ship for marijuana prohibition has sailed! And it’s never coming back again. So instead of blocking the business in your neighborhood, find out how to hold such businesses accountable for responsible use. It will take time but folks will concede, in the same way they did with alcohol, rap music, gay marriage and so on and so on! One thing is for sure though, while Blacks and the Black church stay away from this highly lucrative wealth generating opportunity- WHITES are not!! Whites have already made millions nationwide, and on target to make billions, while Blacks are wasting time protesting-
    or worse- seeing the opportunity but doing nothing! And it will be yet another pathetic missed opportunity for our people, even more so now because for decades we have paid the price through incarcerations and felony counts. However now that there’s a “legit” way to sell herb nobody is stepping up to the plate for fear of what church folk might say! Ridiculous!

  2. Robert Ray says:

    That petition being circulated by Bill Ivey is misleading and the people presenting the petition are lying about the petition’s content. I am encouraging everyone, DO NOT SIGN THAT PETITION! We do not want the Marijuana industry in Compton.

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