Case in point is the Green Earth Collective on York Blvd by Campus Drive. As in Campus Drive going up to Occidental College. It seemed like it simply popped up one day without any notice to the people nearby.
It was and is also controversial, in that the kind of folks hanging around the area were pretty rough, ostensibly drawn by the money that is implied in being able to have a pot shop. Lots of neighborhood complaints, not much done to do anything.
Finally, in mid-2021, we had a shooting at the facility, with one person dead and another wounded in the altercation. As the LA Times put it:
“A man was killed and a security guard was injured after a verbal altercation escalated into gunfire at a marijuana dispensary in Eagle Rock on Thursday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The shooting began when two men got into an argument outside Green Earth Collective in the 4800 block of York Boulevard, around 4:40 p.m., LAPD Officer Jeff Lee said.
The guard “came out to see what was going on,” Lee said, and shots were fired. It was not immediately clear who opened fire first.
The security guard and one of the men outside were taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds.
The security guard, a 30-year-old man who has not been identified, remains in critical but stable condition. The other man, who was described only as being in his 20s, later died from his injuries, Lee said.
The third man was detained after the shooting, Lee said, adding that he could not confirm whether he had been arrested.
Green Earth Collective sells medical and recreational cannabis products, according to its website. Calls to the shop went unanswered Friday morning.”
Wow! Looks like the community concerns were warranted.
Now it appears that there is going to be another pot shop, over on York Ave & Toledo, replacing a Pizza Hut. A number of prominent community members, such as long time community activist Gemma Marquez had an interaction with CD 14’s Kevin De Leon’s office over the matter, and it got me thinking. After being told that the Councilmember could do nothing she said:
“I appreciate your response! But, words without real action are meaningless! Councilman De Leon needs to speak out and state what is apparent to us all. If the current law does not protect communities from Cannabis businesses, then the law needs to be changed to protect communities. The Councilman’s continued silence on this topic speaks volumes on where he stands on this matter.”
The response referred to was from CD14’s Alice Roth, and went like this:
“Thank you, Gemma, and thank you, Clara.
Councilmember De León and our office have found the Department of Cannabis Regulation process to be lacking in many ways, particularly regarding community notification.
While we as staff must respect the current standards, our planning & policy team has been looking into how we could potentially improve DCR and their process since last year’s deadly shooting outside Green Earth Collective.
In the meantime, our field team will continue to work with cannabis businesses, DCR, LAPD, and our Senior Lead Officers to do what we can to advocate for best practices from cannabis businesses in NELA.”
Evidently there is virtually no regulation about pot shops, even if they get put in areas not far from schools, or not that far from all the problems on North Figueroa. Again quoting from Gemma’s back and forth with CD14:
“The Green Earth Collective according to Google Maps is 1.3 miles away and exactly 4 minutes by vehicle from the proposed site on Toledo/York. Also, the Highland Park Lutheran Church per Google Maps is 0.2 away and 1 minute by car and 3 minutes by walking from this proposed site. Is this proposed marijuana dispensary a community necessity?”.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Tony Butka on City Watch LA
Published: February 18, 2022