Posted by: cantmisssd | November 29, 2010

Government in inaction

As a bridge between today’s post and tomorrow’s, this article is fascinating. It’s a brilliant illustration of a half-assed concession from the self-fulfilling prophesy department in San Diego that they’re just throwing up their hands about crime in the name of demagoguing and passing responsibility.

First, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer talks about the regulatory failures surrounding marijuana dispensaries, apparently effectively throwing his hands up about the issue while community members NIMBY around to various degrees. Then the SDPD Community Relations Officer, echoing Faulconer, declares that since marijuana is still being illegally smuggled and sold in the U.S., the dispensaries are necessarily operating illegally. Or, of course, there’s still a huge black market for drugs because there isn’t sufficient legal access. But whatever, a remote hint of logic isn’t necessary in a case like this.

Second, debate moved to the possibility of adding a bike lane on India Street between Laurel and Washington. The officer declares that people will speed recklessly and illegally no matter what through the corridor, so a bike lane is dangerous. A reassuring message from law enforcement- they’re just writing off certain crimes with the potential to injure or kill people as unavoidable obstacles that need to be accommodated. Nevermind the option to add stop signs or lights or raised crosswalks or a number of other options- pedestrians and bike riders will just have to learn to live with drivers engaging in illegal, life-threatening behavior because “They got tired of sitting at the airport waiting for their relatives. Now they’re just like, ‘Get me the hell out of this area,’ so they’re racing up Laurel Street, they’re making the turn and they’re racing to get on this freeway.”

Really, this is just the intersection of lack of will and lack of capability. Public servants refuse or are unable to provide services in their job description, thus demonstrating that public services cannot work. Community relations indeed.

[Update] I would add, of course, that if the logic of the first were applied to the second, it would be assumed that everyone driving was doing something illegal and nobody would be allowed to drive. Instead, non-addictive marijuana that only carries a “bad element” because the community around it has been criminalized sparks hysterical outcry while the police tell us that if we try to walk or bike down the street in our community, it’s just assumed that people will be driving so recklessly it may kill us, and that’s just the way it is. Priorities.


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