Oh, fantastic, the Arts District is getting to that "completely fucking insufferable" stage of gentrification, whining that a new pot shop on Palmetto is bringing an "unwanted element" to the neighborhood, according to Russell Roney, the head of the Barker Block homeowners association, as quoted in the Downtown News. And we all know what that phrase means. (And come on, guys, even whitebread, hyper-gentrified Venice can live with pot shops.) Grateful Meds "seemed to sneak in under the radar," says Roney, perhaps while he and his neighbors were dedicating their energies to warding off the most harmless-sounding liquor store of all time just a block up the street (The outpost of a long-time Boyle Heights institution would've had a modern exterior, a wine tasting room, and a humidor, and carried a wide range of craft beers and mezcal.) If Roney's "unwanted element" dog whistle was too high for you, he elaborates that the dispensary is drawing a "gangster-type" crowd to the neighborhood. Hear it now?
The LAPD's senior lead officer in the AD concurs that the dispensary has been a terrible neighbor: "Walking the neighborhood last week, [Officer Chris] Jarvis spotted several white bags, used to carry the marijuana out of the clinic, tossed in the street and littering the sidewalk." People have also been spotted smoking marijuana outdoors or in their cars, unlike in every other neighborhood east of La Cienega (west of La Cienega they're doing harder drugs). Grateful Meds is operating legally under the recently-passed (and pretty restrictive) Prop D, by the way.
· Arts District Residents Abuzz Over Pot Clinic [Downtown News]