Mar Vista rallies against proposed pot clinic

Posted October 16, 2013 by The Argonaut in News
FULL HOUSE: Councilman Mike Bonin told the audience at the Mar Vista Recreation Center that he is strongly opposed to a medical marijuana dispensary opening near the corner of Centinela Avenue and Palms Boulevard.

FULL HOUSE: Councilman Mike Bonin told the audience at the Mar Vista Recreation Center that he is strongly opposed to a medical marijuana dispensary opening near the corner of Centinela Avenue and Palms Boulevard.












By Gary Walker
More than 200 people gathered Tuesday in an attempt to keep a medical marijuana dispensary from opening in Mar Vista, but it remains unclear what — if anything — residents and city officials can do to stop it.
The proposed dispensary, 33 King, seeks to open later this year in a vacant commercial building at 3472 S. Centinela Ave.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin answered public outcry that erupted during the special meeting of the Mar Vista Community Council with a pledge to fight.
“The message is pretty loud and clear: The city of Los Angeles, [my] council office and this community are opposed to this dispensary,” Bonin told the overflow crowd at the Mar Vista recreation center.
As for Justin Keirn, the businessman seeking city permits to open 33 King, “Mar Vista is coming after him,” Bonin said.
Keirn declined to comment for this story.
Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Terri Kauffman Macias said the agency is investigating Keirn’s proposal — but apparently not under the authority of Proposition D, an initiative approved by L.A. voters earlier this year that put a cap on the number of dispensaries allowed to operate in the city.
Proposition D bans dispensaries other than the 135 that were already legally operating when the law was passed, but it does not allow officials to take action against dispensaries until they open, she said.
“I was rather surprised to learn that the proposition would allow someone to actually open [a pot clinic], and then I have to bring some staunch opposition” to try to have it closed,” said Michael Henderson, a Mar Vista homeowner who lives near the proposed dispensary site.
Despite the apparent catch in the law, “We’re going to have a muscular approach to medical marijuana and making sure that all medical marijuana businesses that are operating in the city are operating in accordance with the law, here in Mar Vista or anywhere else,” Kauffman Macias said.
Bonin and Mar Vista Community Council members said they believed 33 King would violate Proposition D restrictions on where pot clinics can be located.
“The city attorney’s office should not allow this business to open,” said Steve Wallace, a member of the Mar Vista Community Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee. “There are rules and regulations within Prop D which many Mar Vistans supported, but this does not conform.”
In an Oct. 8 letter to Keirn, Bonin wrote that he voted for Proposition D and continued to “support compassionate care and the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes” — but not at this particular spot.
“Although the property located at 3472 S. Centinela is zoned for commercial use, it is surrounded by single-family and multi-family residential zoning. Opening a dispensary there would clearly violate Proposition D and would be a slap in the face to residents who voted in good faith to support the ballot measure.”
Mar Vista resident John Marshall Jones agreed, saying increased traffic, a lack of sidewalks and customers under the influence of marijuana may combine to create a public safety hazard.
“I’m not against weed, but I am against stupid,” he said. “There’s not enough space in there for parking for a retail business. So those people who go to this place will be walking in the streets are on our properties.”
Saul Rubin, the lone Mar Vista resident to not speak out against the proposed dispensary during Tuesday’s meeting, said opponents are distorting safety risks much the same way the 1936 propaganda film “Refer Madness” linked pot use to violence.
“Linking medical marijuana to murders and high crimes? I understand that people are worried, but I just wanted to come tonight to have a reasonable discussion,” Rubin said.
Bonin said he would rather prevent 33 King from opening than see it open only to become a test case for challenging Proposition D.
But if the dispensary does open, “it’s going to be a legal battle royal,” Bonin said.


    Tina Pollard

    I grew up in this neighborhood, beginning with Lloyd’s Market occupying this space. It later became Miss Gooch’s and Wild Oats Market. Even then, there was a traffic impact on our Street especially relating to parking, which is already an issue with the increase of residents to the apartments on Centinela that abandon their vehicles on Ocean View. I am also a Native Realtor of this Community, and this will be detrimental to the property values as this is a well recognized FAMILY ORIENTED NEIGHBORHOOD!!! We all know that there are people playing the system to get their Marijuana Prescriptions for the smallest of reasons like “Stress” – this type of facility DOES NOT belong in a Family Orientated Neighborhood. Any Moral, Ethical Realtor is legally obligated, and responsible for disclosing to buyers “Neighborhood nuisances” and other issues affecting the area – having stoned people wandering through our Neighborhood, parking their cars in front of our houses, and sitting in their cars smoking their purchases to drive under the influence is not only a “Neighborhood Nuisance” that will degrade Property Values here, but a DANGER to our kids and residents.


      Wow, you couldn’t have hit the false stereotypes any harder than you did. Good job getting your name out there for your realtor business though. Good to know you despise businesses that do not live up to your false sense of morality.

      Trevor Carlisle

      Morals and ethics, eh? Everyone in my family is successful by any standard; sisters a brain surgeon, brother’s a patent lawyer, me I’m a DEVELOPER…our wonderful parents are still married after 50+ years…good family you might say and…we all smoke pot, weed, the ganja! So do our successful friends and neighbors and, oh gosh, some of us have children and grandchildren!!! Run for your lives, sell your property, the neighbors are potheads, a nuisance to society!!!

    Tina Pollard

    They appear to be MOVING IN this evening (10-19). There is already a Marijuana Dispensary on Venice Boulevard (12421) across from the CVS Parking Lot (at Ocean View) less than 1/4 mile from this new one! Thank You City of Los Angeles for degrading our Community!


    You sound stressed. Keep in mind, people are buying marijuana there, not smoking it. Your boodyman of wandering hippies hasn’t scared people in 30 years.


    I live in the neighborhood, and I say let it open. There’s a liquor store right across the street that contributes to more death, property damage, etc… than any pot distributor. These neighbors are all making a mountain out of nothing. Until they all come out to stop the sale of alcohol then I consider them all hypocrites.

    Richard Johnson

    “There’s not enough space in there for parking for a retail business.”

    What is wrong with the 25 parking spaces that the patrons of all the previous retail businesses used? A dispensary will have more patrons at the same time as a grocery store? I think not.


    It’s “reefer” not “refer”.

    Tina Pollard

    Perhaps if you read my comment above – it is NOT “Stereo Typing everyone and anyone who smokes pot”! I clearly stated “there are people playing the system to obtain prescriptions for it” who truly don’t need it for medical reasons. The individuals who truly do need it for illnesses like Cancer are not those individuals I was referring too, nor are they the individuals that would drive through our neighborhood intoxicated or smoke their product in front of neighborhood children and discard their plastic containers in our yards. I am referring to those individuals who have “no medical reasons” to warrant obtaining a prescription for “Medical Marijuana” and just don’t want to purchase it on the Streets from an illegal dealer. I have “nothing” against anyone who smokes pot, whether legally or not. I have friends on both sides of that issue and will not judge anyone based on the choices they make for themselves, yet these are not irresponsible people and are all professionals. The point is that this dispensary does not belong in a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD located next to single family homes.

    There is already a dispensary located at 12421 Venice Boulevard, directly across the Street from the CVS parking lot, and less than 1/4 mile away from this site, a commercial zoned neighborhood that backs up to multi zoned family units.

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