The latest warning on legal pot in California: illegal grows and taxes. Chinese citizens are being arrested in illegal grow houses, which are a major problem in Sacramento and other cities. Law enforcement officials say that illicit growers and smugglers are targeting California because they believe they can hide in the shadows of legal operations. Meanwhile, an audit shows that medical pot dispensaries in Sacramento may not be paying all their taxes.
The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune: What if it were OK to grow grapes in San Luis Obispo County, but against the law to sell wine in local stores? Crazy, right? Yet that’s exactly what conservative members of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors have in mind for marijuana. On Tuesday, Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and John Peschong all voiced support for prohibiting storefront dispensaries from operating in unincorporated communities. It was a shocker, since it was the first time such a ban has been proposed during the many months the county has been drafting a commercial marijuana ordinance.
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Jack Ohman delivers “The #MeToo Letter” to the state capitol. Find out who’s reading it here.
Dan Morain: Just how weird have politics become? Dianne Feinstein and the rest of us will find out.
Shawn Hubler: After the solidarity against Harvey Weinstein and shared outrage of #MeToo and #Enough, then what? I’ve been in the workplace a long time – in a line of work with its own legendary frat boys – and what I’ve found is that righteous anger and sympathy only get you so much satisfaction.
Ben Boychuk: In California’s war on Trump, everyone loses. Whether it’s suing over health care or the president’s travel ban or the proposed border wall, California’s “resistance” is setting some terrible precedents at great expense.
Joe Mathews: It’s now outdated to refer to the burning stretches of Napa and Sonoma counties as California’s wine country. The truth is that the whole state is wine country. These fires – and the hotter ones to come via climate change – will only make it more so.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: There should be more pressure on Venezuela after its fraudulent elections. The problem is that the Trump administration, the European Union and Latin American countries don’t have a common agenda with clearly identified demands to put pressure on the Nicolas Maduro regime.
Tim Blood: California is the nation’s most populous state and so bad corporate conduct hurts the most people here. Word of the Nutella settlement rippled across the country, ending this shameful advertising campaign nationwide. Had the case been filed in a smaller state, it would have had little effect.
Steve Bardella: What is Steve Bannon really doing in California?
Los Angeles Times: The sexual harassment and intimidation allegations against Harvey Weinstein are loathsome, but at least some good has emerged from his downfall. Women are coming forward in large and, frankly, humbling numbers to say, “Yeah, it happened to me too.”
Orange County Register: President Trump announced last week that he wouldn’t recertify the 2015 Iran deal, reiterating claims that the deal “was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” For all its shortcomings, the agreement has been vital in containing the threat of a nuclear Iran, at least for now.
San Diego Union-Tribune: A month after the Democratic San Diego City Council majority voted to reject a $160 million religious-themed retreat in Mission Valley, the council wisely reversed course Tuesday, steering clear of the nation’s culture wars and potential litigation.
San Jose Mercury News: Sometimes good government is less about making good things happen than stopping bad things from happening. In that spirit – thank you, Gov. Jerry Brown. With a scrawl of his veto pen, Brown stopped multibillion-dollar telecom companies from getting carte blanche to put cellphone antennas anywhere they want on taxpayer-owned public property and pay next to nothing for the privilege.
San Francisco Chronicle: For years now, the U.S. Forest Service has been forced to pilfer firefighting funds from accounts for fire prevention, as more and more lands across the West burn. Congress always restores those borrowed funds – after wildfire has devastated communities and landscapes and when it is too late to take on the kinds of activities that would have helped prevent fires in the first place. Congress treats this appalling practice as a budget fight. Wildfire victims know it is a fight for survival.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Thumbs down: Drones in the fire zones. Firefighters have tried to educate drone pilots about the risk to spotter planes, air tankers and anyone on the ground. When drones are spotted, aerial operations are halted. Yet Cal Fire reported multiple drones over fire zones in Sonoma County. Thumbs up for Rob Giordano, Sonoma County’s interim sheriff. Giordano, who stepped into the job less than two months ago, has been a calm and authoritative presence.
Yomiuri Shimbun: Differences in the positions of the Japanese and U.S. governments on trade have been laid bare. The “America first” policy trumpeted by the U.S. government, which casts trade deficits as a sworn enemy, will not benefit either nation. Japan must tenaciously explain this point to the U.S. government.
Charles M. Blow: President Trump is no Adolf Hitler, but the way he has manipulated the American people with outrageous lies, stacked one on top of the other, has an eerie historical resonance. Demagogy has a fixed design.
David Brooks: Sen. John McCain seems to be the only member of Congress who insists on holding hearings and working toward compromise before passing major legislation. He is one of very few Republicans willing to stand up for the American story.
Frank Bruni: The Bush twins want to set the record straight. Barbara told me with little hesitation that she’d voted for Hillary Clinton, while Jenna demurred. Jenna’s answers were often the thoughtful mini-essays while Barbara naughtily thrust her smartphone at me to display the text messages that their father, the second President Bush, routinely sends them.
Michael Gerson: The distinction between the language of the schoolyard and the language of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” has somehow been lost on the Biloxi, Miss., school board, which recently decided to remove the book from the eighth-grade curriculum.
Paul Krugman: Breaking up NAFTA would be terrible for Mexico and bad for the U.S. It would horrify major U.S. business interests, which have spent two decades building their competitive strategies around an integrated North American market. But it might be good for President Trump’s fragile ego. And that’s a reason to fear the worst.
Dana Milbank: The Trump White House is seeking arguments to justify scuttling the Trans-Pacific Partnership, NAFTA and other vehicles of international trade. But the supposed socioeconomic costs are presented without any data or information.
Eugene Robinson: What President Trump reportedly said to the grief-stricken widow of Sgt. La David Johnson is not some kind of minor miscue or media-fueled distraction. It speaks to the core issue of Trump’s character and demonstrates, as clearly as any incident to date, his unfitness for the office he holds – and dishonors.
Bret Stephens: John McCain and Steve Bannon are the antipodes of the Republican Party. The institutionalist versus the insurgent. The internationalist versus the America Firster. The maverick versus the ideologue. And right now, McCain and his allies are losing.
Paul Waldman: George W. Bush’s emergence as a voice of GOP moderation has been more than a little disorienting. Thursday he gave a speech with some thinly-veiled criticisms not just of President Donald Trump, but even of developments within his own party.
“The argument here is not about what unions will lose. Rather, this is really about what workers stand to gain, which is freedom through choice. How can anyone argue against that?” – Jacob Huebert, litigation director for Liberty Justice Center, Illinois Policy Institute, Chicago
“No matter how it rules, the court won’t succeed in changing the hearts and minds of people like me who devote their careers to serving the public day in and day out, or our commitment to stand together with our co-workers to amplify our voices and fight for the public good.” – Stuart Bennett, Sacramento