Morning Report: Law Harshes Mellow for Pot Delivery Drivers - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Law Harshes Mellow for Pot Delivery Drivers

Another Kasparian lawsuit is settled, a look inside S.D's overdose epidemic, we all get to pay for border wall prototype security, flu outbreak said worse than hepatitis A, and a glimpse at the most and least expensive homes of 2017
rally for marijuana delivery
Marijuana delivery service supporters rally for legality and regulation for the pot industry. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Pot is now legal in California, but that doesn’t mean your corner store has a handy supply. The number of licenses is limited, and many would-be sellers are being frozen out — the ones who want to bring weed to your house.

City leaders haven’t yet bothered to deal with the status of these drivers, who aren’t attached to pot stores, so they’re in both limbo and jeopardy. The situation has “left hundreds of independent drivers, who previously operated in a grey area of the law, with three options: partner with one of the few legal storefronts, shut down the business altogether, or join what some have begun ironically calling ‘team black market,'” reports our reporter Jesse Marx in a new VOSD story.

“The whole thing was poorly thought out and as time progresses…it’s been a continuous lobbying effort by the monied interests to push out the small mom and pops,” says a local pot industry advocate.

2 Lawsuits Against Labor Leader Are Settled

Now two high-profile lawsuits against local labor Mickey Kasparian have been settled. (Times of S.D.)’

As we reported on Friday, several local Democratic leaders are standing by Kasparian to at least some extent despite the accusations of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination against him and the tough stands they took in the Bob Filner sexual misconduct imbroglio.

One “responded in two ways that have become common as the number of allegations against high-profile men has increased: she blamed fake news, and she said she normally believes women, though not in this case,” we reported.

In a comment to Times of S.D., an attorney representing the accusers in the settled lawsuits took aim at the Democratic leaders who haven’t firmly blasted Kasparian: “I wish I could say more, especially given the recent, public comments from people like [Assemblyman] Todd Gloria, [State Sen.] Toni Atkins, [county supervisor candidate] Lori Saldaña and Dale Kelly Blankhead [secretary-treasurer and CEO of Kasparian’s breakaway San Diego Working Families Council]. If the public knew what I know, those ‘leaders’ would be paying a hefty political price for carrying Mickey (and his wallet) around on their hips.”

Inside S.D.’s Deadly Overdose Epidemic

A local physician led an investigation into 254 drug-related deaths in the county during 2013, the U-T reports. She focused on 186 of the patients who’d filled at least one prescription over the year prior to their deaths and discovered that “70 percent of the people who died weren’t following doctors’ orders. But there was more to it than that. She also found red flags that were missed and identified simple ways doctors and pharmacies could have intervened.”

Border Wall Prototypes Ding Taxpayers

Security during construction of the border wall prototypes in the San Ysidro area cost local law enforcement agencies hundreds of thousands, the U-T reports.

The security wasn’t necessary. As the paper notes, “No rallies, demonstrators, marchers or protest signs appeared during the four largely uneventful weeks of construction.”

Quick News Hits: Highs and Lows of Local Home Prices

• The current flu outbreak is worse than the hepatitis A outbreak, says a county supervisor, who doesn’t address how the inertia of local government made the latter catastrophe worse. (U-T)

• The city is continuing its unprecedented crackdown on the homeless living in camps along the San Diego River, the U-T reports. Check our coverage for background.

• A month after the Lilac fire, the landscape of North County’s Rancho Monserate Country Club includes bulldozers, dumpsters and debris. Some homes are still standing, but it will take time for infrastructure to catch up, the U-T reports. Check out our post-fire photos.

• The U-T tracked down the most and least expensive homes sold in the county last year. The cheapest was in Jacumba, which was in bad shape and went for just $27,000: “One room on the property included old laundry, broken computers and abandoned Christmas decorations.”

And the priciest was, not surprisingly, in La Jolla. It went for a cool $12 million.

What do you get? Well, the master bedroom is 800 square feet. Or about 5 copies of my first apartment put together.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misquoted a local pot industry advocate.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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