VOSD Podcast: Big Week for Pot and Politics
On this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk about how the district attorney’s office could be softening its approach toward the cannabis industry.
The winds could be shifting when it comes to the district attorney’s hardline stance on pot.
The DA’s office has long come down hard on the cannabis industry. One case filed against medical-marijuana entrepreneur James Slatic got national attention for being so tough. Slatic and his business partners were charged with a slate of felonies, including money laundering and obstruction of justice, and the DA also charged Slatic’s lawyer, Jessica McElfresh, with crimes, which sent shock waves through the legal community.
This week, though, the DA’s office ended its two-year battle with Slatic, who ended up pleading guilty to just two misdemeanors. A statement from DA spokeswoman Tanya Sierra to the Union-Tribune suggests the district attorney’s attitude toward pot has changed.
“This settlement takes into account the changing focus of the new district attorney administration, which allows companies to apply for a state license to legally sell marijuana,” Sierra said.
Also on the podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts round up the latest news in politics, including City Councilman David Alvarez’s decision to run for the race for San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees and the rift between local labor unions and the county’s Democratic Party.
Plus, Bardis Vakili, a senior staff attorney for the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter, stops by to discuss some of the biggest cases and civil rights issues impacting San Diego, including a police watchdog group’s recent dismissal of 22 death cases, SDPD’s handling of juvenile DNA and how immigrants are treated inside local detention centers.
Hero of the Week
This week’s hero goes to San Diego County for its focus on curtailing elder abuse. The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an in-depth story that hails San Diego’s approach as a model for how the rest of the country should go after those who target the elderly.
Goat of the Week
San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn gets goatted this week. After our Lisa Halverstadt fact checked whether the county has more than $100 million in mental health funds sitting in the bank (it does), Horn went on a long tirade against reporters — decrying their typewriters and insisting they’ll go away soon enough. Horn himself will be gone soon enough, as his term limit is up.