The dispensary ban

When Lucy and I arrived in LA in 2007, we had never heard of a medical marijuana dispensary. They don’t exist in London, where we used to live.

I distinctly remember thinking “19 year old Moses would have thought these were pretty cool.” Now, in what may be a symptom of growing up (or getting even less cool), I fully support the LA City Council’s decision to institute a total ban on store-front dispensaries, which I read about on Curbed.

How did a relatively free-thinking person who generally believes in live-and-let-live come to oppose what are effectively legal marijuana stores? Simple: One opened up around the corner from my house. It’s closed now, thanks to the ban, but while it was open, we used to have groups of n’er-do-wells smoking pot on our lawn (and sometimes on our steps) and there was always liter in our driveway.

Magically, as soon as the shop closed, the problems went away. Which is why I support the ban. No one should have to live next to a business that draws anti-social customers and doesn’t do anything to control their behavior.

But what about people who legitimately need marijuana as medicine? Fortunately, there’s a simple answer: Delivery services. I never understood why dispensaries didn’t organize in this fashion in the first place. It’s a simple way to get people the “medicine” they need without encouraging crime / misbehavior. People get their pot, at home, where they can use it to their heart’s content. And I don’t have to pick up Doritos bags from my driveway every morning.