Tuesday, October 13, 2009

City Attorney Explains Medical Marijuana Issue on NBC

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was invited on NBC’s “Today in LA” show on Saturday morning to give his side of the hot-button Medical Marijuana issue. The show was live at 7:00 at the NBC studios in Burbank and reporter Ted Chen did the questioning.

In the couple minutes allotted, Mr. Trutanich made it very clear that from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s point of view, this is a public health and safety issue, and that the Los Angeles City Attorney will NOT prevent the legitimate and legal cultivation, distribution and use of Medical Marijuana within the city of Los Angeles.

Mr. Trutanich made the case that the users of Medical Marijuana don’t really know what is in the medicine that they are using, and that if this truly is medicine, it should be tested and examined with the same FDA scrutiny as for example Tylenol. They have a right to know what they are ingesting.

As City Attorney Trutanich explained, this position follows on the heels of three M.M. samples purchased covertly by the City Attorney’s office in CD 9 and 14, being screened for their contents by the FDA in Irvine. Two of the samples that came back had extraordinarily high levels of the insecticide Bifenthrin. One sample was found to have 1600 times the legal digestible limit of Bifenthrin, the other just over 85 times. The City Attorney used the analogy of spraying the ant-killing Raid on your salad and then eating it and that if this is indeed medicine, that these kind of ingredients pose a real health and safety risk to those patients taking the medical marijuana.

This automatically led to the on-air discussion of not really knowing the origin of the Marijuana being ingested, as Bifenthrin in those quantities would definitely NOT be used anywhere NEAR California. Prop 215 on which the cultivation, distribution and use of Medical Marijuana within the city of Los Angeles is based, clearly states that the Marijuana is to be cultivated in a collective.

Reporter Ted Chen was fair and to the point.

The issue marches on.

Posted by: Nigel Skeet
Photos by: Nigel Skeet