Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

It’s a no-brainer: Legalize marijuana

I read with great disappointment Bill Kisliuk’s article “Gatto and Ramani go into detail” in your Oct.13 edition, wherein he states that both Sander Ramani and Assemblyman Mike Gatto support the continuing financial and social foolishness of the law that makes the use of marijuana illegal.

Prohibition of alcohol was attempted in the 1920s era and resulted in great criminal gang activity. Al Capone, the mafia and many machine gun totting gangsters were having a hey-day making lots of money and paying off their politician friends.


We were told that if we repeal the 18th Amendment, that the criminal activities would go away and the government would make a lot of money through taxation. Although I do not advocate the use of alcohol, the bootlegger/criminal activity has gone away and the government has increased its tax revenues from alcohol sales. The same situation applies today regarding the use of marijuana.

To make the sale and distribution of marijuana profitable it has to be made illegal. Being illegal there is enough profit available to pay young street vendors to solicit and sell to our youth. I went to Glendale High School in the 1930s, graduating in 1939. Marijuana was legal up until 1933, when it was made illegal as a result of the effort of the liquor industry to eliminate competition.


From the first grade to after I graduated from high school, I was an active student and I never ever heard of marijuana. There was no one in school trying to sell it and I was in no way tempted. This was the condition throughout the 40s, 50s and into the 60s.

It was not until the drug dealers — through their politician friends — were able to activate and attempt to enforce drug laws, that they were able to create an extremely lucrative business. If we eliminate this foolish law, much like we did with alcohol prohibition, the crime, the gangs, the political pay-offs and the very expensive police attempts to control marijuana use will go away.

When you can legally grow your own marijuana, nobody can make a profit trying to sell it to you. And like the alcohol bootlegger, the sale of marijuana by gangs of criminals will go away.

Politicians supporting this stupid law are either uninformed about the history of prohibition attempts, or have some other agenda not known to me.


Bob New


Ramani is a proven community leader

The Burbank Leader article on Sept. 17, “Neighbors say they haven’t seen much of Ramani,” is disappointing on two fronts.


First, the Leader rehashes old news over and over again as though it was fresh information. Ramani issued a release at the beginning of the campaign that he was taking up residence in Burbank to qualify for the Assembly race and that if he won that seat he would move his family into the district, so there was no news there.

Then a supporter of Assemblyman Mike Gatto files a complaint with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office about Ramani’s residence, starting an investigation mandated by law. The Leader implies that the district attorney’s office is actively pursuing the matter. This then is supported by your reporter waking up some sleepy tenants in Ramani’s apartment building to find out if they have seen him and then the article leads with the revelation that they haven’t seen much of him. Might that be because he is out early morning till late at night campaigning and working among the people?

Second, when it comes to being seen the Leader ignores the obvious reality. Ramani has been assisting charities and community organizations in the Glendale/Burbank/La Cañada area for more than 20 years. He has devoted his time and money to helping this community and doesn’t need an introducer to follow him around telling him who people are in the community.

As an active community participant, I can tell you that I never even heard of Gatto until this election cycle. Now who do you want to support, a man who is anxiously starting his political career with what I think is a big special interest bank roll, or a person who has cared about this community for decades?

As a loyal Democrat, Ramani is the obvious choice for me. The budget and social problems we face are too great to trust an upstart to represent our interests in Sacramento.

Ernest P. Burger