Morning Report: California Pot Has Appeal in Baja
Labor divides itself over county supervisor race, DeMaio won't run after all, Sen. Harris vs. progressives, governor candidates have local ties, Trump and Stormy Daniels have S.D. on itineraries, and Chipotle outage prompts debate
You may assume that marijuana goes one-way across the border: From south to north. But the evolving legalization of pot in California has changed things dramatically. Some Mexicans and Americans who live in Mexico frequently head to San Diego County to buy marijuana that’s often seen as higher quality.
Our Maya Srikrishnan tracked the phenomenon, which may be helping push Mexico toward a more tolerant attitude regarding marijuana. In fact, a San Diego-area company is the only one allowed to deliver a form of cannabis to Mexico for medical use.
A graduate student in Tijuana explains that the rise of pot exported from the United States to Mexico — and not the other way around — is indeed an unusual historical switcheroo. He also says the typical user in Mexico who gets marijuana from the United States is well-off.
“They aren’t just sick,” he said. “They aren’t criminals. They aren’t the marginalized consumers that we are accustomed to thinking about when we talk about the consumers of cannabis in Mexico.”
The story is available to share in Spanish here.
Politics Report: Labor Divided Over County Supe Race
This week’s Politics Report broke some news: The Working Families Council — a coalition of labor unions formed after scandals led Mickey Kasparian and the United Food and Commercial Workers to break away from the Labor Council — will endorse former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña for a county supervisor seat, meaning that labor is now divided over who should replace Republican Ron Roberts.
And that means Kasparian’s most important partner in the new venture, the Service Employees International Union, Local 221, may now break away. That union has very few priorities as important as electing former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to that seat.
Also in the Politics Report: Former councilman Carl DeMaio, a failed congressional and mayoral candidate, won’t run against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter. Was his trial balloon just a head fake? (Sorry to mix my metaphors.) It doesn’t seem that way.
Plus: A local reverend is demanding district attorney candidates treat his group like a coveted labor union endorsement. But they’re not necessarily doing that. “No one is the gatekeeper to civil rights,” said the district attorney candidate who believes one visit with the reverend is quite enough, thank you.
More Politics: Kamala Harris vs. Progressives
With fewer than three months until the June primary, do you know who’s running for governor? The L.A. Times has a helpful rundown.
Among the hopefuls are a couple with local ties: John Cox, a Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist who’s spending millions on his campaign and “did not vote for President Trump in the 2016 election but now says he backs the president 100%.”
And a candidate named Travis Allen, a Republican state assemblyman from Orange County, “grew up in Chula Vista, where his father worked as an attorney and his mother served on the school board.” He’s perhaps best known for falsely claiming that California Democrats legalized child prostitution.
• “Lemon Grove City Councilman David Arambula may be facing a federal civil rights lawsuit and potential criminal charges because of a fight he had last summer at his home with a San Diego businessman who is trying to open at least two marijuana dispensaries in the East County city.” (U-T)
Quick News Hits: Burrito Battle
• “San Diego’s annual pension payments would be about $100 million higher than usual every year through 2028 under a plan the city’s pension system board unanimously approved on Friday.” (U-T)
• The president is still on schedule to visit San Diego this week to check out the border wall prototypes.
• Progressive groups are trying to raise $6,000 for a 10-foot-by-20-foot digital billboard that will send a message to people driving across the border. It’s not clear what the message will say, S.D. Free Press says, but several organizations are behind it, including Indivisible 50, Together We Will-North San Diego County, Defending Our Future CA-52, Indivisible Ocean Hills and Borregans4Democracy (it’s a dry political heat).
• The U-T takes a look at what happens when local homeless people are bused to live with friends or relatives elsewhere. Critics say it’s “Greyhound therapy,” but supporters say the program works.
• Seismologist Lucy Jones, perhaps the best known earthquake expert in the nation, takes note via tweet of the weekend’s 85th anniversary of the devastating Long Beach quake, which led to dramatic changes in laws regarding building construction, especially of schools: “3/10/1933 was gray & cloudy when Long Beach quake hit so my mom’s generation called this earthquake weather. Oct. 1, 1987 Whittier Narrows happened in hot Santa Anas so my generation calls hot days quake weather. Earthquake weather is what you had on your most memorable quake.”
• A 5.5-foot-long black-throated monitor lizard named Bubbles escaped from a Paradise Valley pet store a week ago and wandered around for four days until someone spotted him enjoying the sun not too far away. “He didn’t event recognize us (at first) … . He got a wild instinct just from four days,” the manager of the pet store told Times of S.D. “It took him a long time to calm down.”
• My panicky tweet during last week’s Mission Valley gas leak (“OH DEAR GOD THEY’VE EVACUATED CHIPOTLE”) sparked an extended colorful Twitter discussion about the merits of Chipotle (derided as “corporate burritos” but lauded as “better than 7/10 of taco shops”) vs. local Mexican food joints.
For some reason, the thread wandered into a discussion of how there should be more cussing on the VOSD podcast, but not before I wrote what two folks declared to be a “perfect San Diego tweet”: “I had a bad quesadilla at Robertos on ECB a week ago and I will never go there again except maybe tomorrow.”
Don’t make me run this by San Diego Fact Check. And pass the salsa.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.