Victimless Crime File: L.A. Pot Dispensaries Hit for Not Paying “Taxes”

Legalization advocates are given to making the outrageous claim that ending prohibition stopped mob violence and thus ending drug prohibition will end drug related violence. This theory ignores the Mafia’s continued involvement with liquor related industries (night clubs and liquor warehouses) and more disgustingly the violence the mob participates in even today is swept under the rug by people who are making a dishonest attempt to get their drug(s) of choice legalized.

Gangs that made money from pot, for example, will not simply give up and find some other illegal activity to replace their cash cow if pot is legal. They will stay involved, and the easiest way is through “taxes” placed on the starry eyed hippies who think legalization will be the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. “Taxes” is the criminal code for extortion, usually through a protection racket. This is how the mob stays involved in nightclubs, by telling the owners they will “protect” them for a steep fee or cut of the business. Of course what club owners are buying protection from are the tax collectors themselves, and the morgues of Jersey are littered with people who refuse to pay up.

Which brings me to this L.A. Now story concerning violent robberies at two different pot dispensaries a few hours apart. Two different workers were killed in the robberies. One of those killed was Matt Butcher, the son of a well known labor union leader. Since being the leader of a labor union is a good gig where you make lots of money Julie Butcher’s explanation for why Matt was working in a medial marijuana store seems less than credible:

Matt Butcher was the son of Julie Butcher, a well-known L.A. labor leader. Butcher’s mother described the killing as “totally senseless,” saying her son was simply trying to cobble together part-time jobs in a tough economy. “He was one of the most peaceful people,” said Julie Butcher, who works as a regional director of the Service Employees International Union Local 721. “He would have given them anything they wanted. There’s no reason for anyone to die over marijuana.

Right. Actually I’ve gotten three different contacts about this story, and the general consensus is that the reason people “had” to die was that these dispensaries refused to pay their “taxes.”

There’s two schools of thought here. The first is that a gang (which some believe was a Mexican Mafia affiliate) told the dispensaries they needed to pay taxes and the dealers said no. They may or may not have went to the left wing interest involved (what? you think people support legal pot with no way to profit over it?) who, because they didn’t take it seriously, sent a couple of rabble rousers to run security. The second is that the dispensaries did pay taxes but either stopped or shorted who they owed.

Either way these robberies were really about sending a message. Word on the street is that the message is Eme (the Mexican mafia) owns Los Angles. Legal or not, you sell weed, you pay your taxes.

Dr. Know, however, says that the dispensaries do pay taxes – to the mob who, through the unions, have direct access to most lefty groups. The problem is the mob has no real stroke on the streets of L.A. anymore. The Mafia can’t control turf the same way the Eme affiliated gangs can and this was a message to everyone as to who the real power is in the city.

No matter what the truth is, the fact is that legalized dealing will be subject to the same pressures as illegal dealing and only the most naive person thinks otherwise.


16 Responses to “Victimless Crime File: L.A. Pot Dispensaries Hit for Not Paying “Taxes””

  1. Hart D. FIsher on June 28th, 2010 8:20 pm

    Nice article Rob, but hey, taco vendors pay a street tax to the Mexican Mafia too, does that mean they’re dangerous? As a guy who’s grandpa used to sell life insurance to the Mob and took his wife from one of the Capone’s harem, I can tell you, legalizing booze hit the mob in the balls. So of course they tried to keep their money, but it still took the juice out and they went to other venues. The best way to cripple the organizations is to remove their easy money and decriminalize, but it’s not a magic button. Bad guys don’t just go away. They keep doing bad shit.

    Local grocers, local bars, they all pay the street tax to the gangs. When I was a bouncer I worked at one of the only bars in town that didn’t pay off the cops to serve booze to underage kids in a college town. What did they do? Cracked down on us big time to try & catch us to force those bribes to come. They were bad guys looking to squeeze money. When we didn’t come up with the juice, they eventually got bored ‘cuz we didn’t serve the minors.

    They had to look for their money elsewhere…

    You get what I’m saying?

    The Fuckin’ Guy who’s Been THERE, Done THAT…

  2. Rob Taylor on June 28th, 2010 8:27 pm

    That’s always been my point. I’m not for or against legalization, I’m for honesty.

    With the cartels there’s a whole different problem and drugs are just one finger in a giant pie. They are a de facto state, and they now control 80 miles of Arizona. Decriminalize or legalize and it won’t matter because the problem we have now is technology allowing non-state actors to challenge the traditional 20th century notion of the state.

    As for drug users and dealers, people need to be honest with them. Don’t pay your taxes and you’re dead and no one can protect you. And as the American state collapses (especially in California due to finances) be prepared for those taxes to include your wife, daughter, son or whatever. It’s like a bartender I knew once told me, if you really want to stay out of trouble you’d go straight edge.

  3. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 9:36 am

    Tell me, Rob, when alcohol was banned, did crime go up or down? When it was legalized, did crime go up or down? When the War on Drugs began, did crime go up or down? When medical cannabis was legalized in California, did crime go up or down?

    There’s your answer. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  4. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Did the mafia disappear after prohibition ended?

    This si a news story. Legal pot businesses, just like bars and nightclubs today, are extorted by gangs because the gangs will not give up the money and the new business owners are unable to protect themselves. Instead of reading from a Libertarian pamphlet deal with the actual story.

    I never said I was against legalization or not, just that legalization doesn’t end crime.

  5. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 2:34 pm

    But you have to admit that it is much less after legalization than during prohibition. Again, look at the statistics.

  6. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 2:39 pm

    No, crime rates were at their highest in the 1970s and the mafia’s power in New York was unbroken until the Giuliani prosecutions. When I was a kid the mafia hit people in public all the time, and even now all strip clubs in Jersey pay gangs protection money.

    It’s a myth that legalization stops criminality, it only lowers crime rates by stopping the enforcement of certain crimes.

  7. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 3:07 pm

    By crime I mean violent crime, and I doubt that ending prohibition would lead to less enforcement against those crimes. And how do you know that all strip clubs in NJ are controlled by gangs or the mob? Are you a cop or a gangster?

  8. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 3:25 pm

    A) Been to strip clubs and I know plenty of dancers. I do run a crime blog or two.

    B) Violent crime by the mob didn’t go down. You should look up the Gambino family indictments some time.

  9. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Of course it did not go down forever–the War on (some) Drugs later began, hence the rise in the 1970s and 1980s. This was the second prohibition. In fact, cannabis was banned four years after alcohol was legalized.

  10. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 4:13 pm

    I’m specifically talking about the Mafia. They remain active and violent to this very day.

  11. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 4:16 pm

    And much of their money comes from illegal drugs, gambling, and prostitution, much more so than nudie bars or any sort of bars for that matter.

  12. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Wrong again. Strip clubs and bars in general remained a staple of organized crime because of the money they generated and the ease with which they could muscle in. Also remember that liquor distribution was and is controlled by mobbed up unions, thus ensuring that the Mafia gets a cut of the liquor business and retains a great deal of influence because bars must play ball with them.

    Street prostitution is usually rung by “crews’ that are local. Escort services and the prostitution that goes on in the lower end clubs is run by the mob. The 1%er Motorcycle gangs run a lot of the hooker (forced) nowadays because the Mafia lost it’s stranglehold on clubs when the Russian mob moved in, at least that’s how it is in NY/NJ

  13. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Oh wait, forgot about waste management and concrete companies.

  14. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 4:28 pm

    Again, where do you get this sort of information?

  15. Rob Taylor on September 20th, 2010 5:06 pm

    Some is from first or second hand accounts, some is from the DOJ (in the past few years they have has several raids on the Pagans MC for example and you can read what they’re charged with), a former “old lady” from one of the MCs emailed me info a few times etc.

    I knew dancers, I knew bartenders and I talk to people, I gather information. Look at police reports, talk to the people who work there, look around. You can learn a lot by getting off the web.

  16. Ajax the Great on September 20th, 2010 5:15 pm

    Whatever, I’m off my soapbox for now. Peace.

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