Cannabis advocates claim that more than 800 dispensaries have sprouted here since 2002; some law enforcement officials say it is closer to 1,000. Whatever the real number, everyone agrees it is too high.
And so this, too, is taken for granted: Crackdowns on cannabis clubs will soon come in this city, which has more dispensaries than any other.
The most important fact about this situation is that by all accounts, legal and quasi-legal access to marijuana has exploded in recent years.
So, if marijuana really causes violence and amotivational syndrome, or acts as a gateway, drug, as asserted by the prohibitions, then we should have seen an explosion of violence, high school dropouts, and harder drug use in California; we have not. The California experience is one more piece of evidence that the prohibitionist claims are wrong.
Why, then, is LA cracking down on these clubs? The only sensible justification would be to clean up appearances so that the feds do not get tempted to intervene. From every other perspective, the crackdown makes no sense.