Clickable map of Los Angeles area marijuana dispensaries


A wonderful infographic over at the LA Times of pot dispensaries throughout greater Los Angeles. I love this. You can even see which have licenses, which don't, and how close some of them are to schools, or to other dispensaries.

I live in an LA neighborhood in which there are far more weed dispensaries per square mile than Starbuckses. Almost without exception, the ones around here are shady, creepy and not professionally run. My favorite is either the one where the "clinic" is split into two parts, one of which doles out 420, the other Botox and Juvederm injections (same doctor doing the prescriptions for both, apparently). Or, the other one where bikini-clad, hard-eyed Euro-hos jump right out at you in the street, grab you by the arm, and squeal, "Hiyeee! Doo yoo vant to get leeegal?" No: I want to punch you.

I don't use the stuff at all (I don't drink or use any recreational drugs), but I'm all for straight-up legalizing pot -- if only to banish the recent proliferation of these gray-market dispenaries, which I believe are directly linked to a spike in crime and black-market drug activity around my 'hood. It's all I can do to not flip those pot-hawkers the bird when I walk by.

Map: Where's the weed?, and related: Mapping L.A.'s marijuana dispensaries (


  1. This is what happens when Government allows certain types of behaviors only in certain areas. What if alcohol was only legal in Peoria Illinois? Peoria would be a nasty place. Freedom this ain’t.

  2. The Feds raided a lot of San Diego dispensaries yesterday. I’m hoping it was isolated violations, otherwise so much for democracy and states’ rights.

  3. Yeah, this whole med pot thing is heading in a disconcerting direction. The system is already rife with corruption. What’s worse, “legit” growers are starting to look down on users that choose to use outside of the framework of the med clubs. I bought some pot from a dude who tried to shame me into getting a card once.

    He was like,”why don’t you just get a prescription?”
    I told him, “because I’m not sick.”
    He responded, “Well you should support the system, man.”

    But just who is the system set up to benefit?

    All the pot prescription’s I’ve seen have instructed the user to “take as needed”. There are no dosage recommendations.

    So why is it that a substance that allegedly has no dangerous side effects and that is impossible to overdose on needs to be prescription only?

    So the Cannabinati can corporatize the market by squeezing out all the underground growers and sellers, that’s why. Now the cops are working to kill of their competition, which is not too far removed from a government subsidy if you think about it. Pretty soon the state is going to start taxing it, which will complete the conflict of interest loop.

  4. -#4, it is a wildfire map hah. damn you eric holder for lieing to the world.–quit raiding them, work with the states on this snit.

  5. “…which I believe are directly linked to a spike in crime and black-market drug activity around my ‘hood.”

    I’m curious why you believe this. I’m not even saying it’s not true, you just don’t offer much reason why this should be taken as a credible statement. Ok, so you believe it, but why? Is it because these dispensaries have been around during the same period as this perceived spike in crime? The same could be said of iPods or Hybrid cars.

    It just seemed like a curiously unjustified statement, or maybe it was poorly worded, or lacks background. Otherwise, I agree, these places sound obnoxious as hell, though not much worse than liquor stores.

    Personally I’m all for legalization, regulation and taxation. The stuff should be treated as a recreational intoxicant just like alcohol.

  6. Wouldn’t you think our fucked economy is the likely reason for your spike in crime? In Pittsfield, MA the number of shootings has nearly doubled this year.

  7. When business saw they could make a quick buck they abandoned their Red China rhetoric and dumped Taiwan overnight. Same would happen with pot. Given the go ahead the tobacco cartel would take over pot sales between breakfast and lunch on day one. As it’s California’s number one cash crop the tax revenue would bail out Sacramento.
    The war on stoners is a dismal failure. It’s acted as a price support for the dealers. While creepy dumb jerks on drugs doesn’t appeal to me, I can’t see we’ve done more than add to a very expensive prison population doing what we’re doing.

  8. I wonder if the spike in crime has to do with the shitty economy? There has been a huge spike in my neighborhood too. For a long time, everyone blamed it on the infamous “crack house” down the street, but they evicted everyone and boarded it up and still the spate of crimes hasn’t really slowed. It is interesting trying to get a group of sometime pot smokers together to fight crime. There is a slight hesitation to bring too much scrutiny on the neighborhood from the police, with the possible result that more real crime can occur under the radar.

  9. legalization puts the pusher out of business, frees up public money for law enforcement to work on preventing crimes directed by real bad actors against the innocent, and stops making a person with a propensity to do drugs that are now illegal have, in addition to a drug dependency, a legal beef. If people do drugs they may or may not have a medical problem. Why would anyone want them to have a legal problem too?

  10. Listen, I agree with a lot of the comments people are saying about the medical marijuana business in L.A., but one thing that annoys me is when people like to compare apples to oranges. Sure, there are more weed shops than Starbuckses, but are there more weed shops than coffee shops? Starbucks is a chain, while there are no weed shops that have up to 10 stores. Guess what? There are also more ATM’s than Starbucks, but that wouldn’t be a fair comparison because ATM’s are owned by different companies. So let’s please stop comparing a complete industry to a single business. It’s just not a valid argument. Other than that, yeah there are way too many shady weed shops.

  11. Wow, this post started out so positive and uplifting and ended on such a downer. Were I a pothead, this would’ve totally been harshin’ my buzz…..or whatever the lingo is.

    As it stands, I’m both surprised and confused that Xeni is “all for” legalizing pot while claiming that it’s distribution is causing crime and is all gross and sketchy. Maybe the problem is the quasi-legal state its in right now, where it’s not totally legal and not totally illegal? That could definitely attract the sketchy types, I’d imagine.

  12. “Man, I am sure glad we followed this map I got off”

    *puff* *puff*

    “Er… did you print out the directions on how to get back?”


  13. Ah, BB – bastion of level-headed thinking re: legalisation. I agree with the whole ‘I dont need a prescription because Im not sick’ thing… What the whole medical MJ thing has done has opened a legal avenue via which dodgy operators can set up. It just simply needs to be legalised.

    Stupid people say you can’t tax ganj, but I would like to know why not… that’s essentially how it works in Holland.

    I have been toying with an idea of how a legal system could work. I encourage suggesstions/additions/corrections as this is only an idea, not a formally laid-out plan.

    Why not legalise personal posession for ammounts up to, say… 5kg & up to 10 plants (I’d estimate that 10 perfect plants would yeild up to around 5kg… you have to balance the number of legal plants to the ammount of bud you can legally posses).

    Registered growers would obviously be allowed to grow more, and they would have to pay tax based on how much bud they produce for sale. Registered growers and personal growers may sell their product only at governmentally operated “buying points” (there would only be one or two in each city, much like a city office).

    The public can then buy ganj from governmentally operated “sales points”, placed in a different location to the buying points (and in much smaller, coffee-shop style premeses).

    All existing punishments for sales and trafficing should be doubled and applied to all ganj transactions outside of the avenues in my proposal. Punishments should not be applied for personal sales of less than half an ounce. The rationale for this is that for efficiency a person may go and buy an ounce at a governemnt “sales point” for distribution amongst friends/family. We should encourage such practice as it would mean less delay at the selling points and would not make a criminal of a person who sells a bit of their stash to someone at a party.

    As I said, I am in no way claiming this is a bullet-proof and perfect plan… it just seems to me that it could be a lot more beneficial to everyone than the system we currently have.

    Sorry for the long and rambling post – hope this is food for thought.

  14. @21 teapot.

    why so complicated?

    replace alcohol or tobacco in your suggestion.

    like, if all bars were run by the government, what a swell night out that would be.

    what’s wrong with using existing legislation from the ttb for, say, tobacco ?

  15. Marijuana needs to be legalized, but all the logic and compassion in the world seems to be lost on those who oppose it.

  16. Yeah, it’s not a huge argument to be made – treat it like the legal intoxicants available. The arguments are obvious and don’t need to be repeated. If you need them to be, open your eyes. It’s pretty simple.

    Starbucks numbers? Well they closed, like 75% of their stores in my neck of the woods. They were the first to go down, no? An obvious throwaway, maybe.

    I agree with questioning the reason for the rise in crime, too. There are probably a few other parallel events that could just as well be attributed – again, not saying it’s not true. When you’ve heard the argument about pot being linked to violent behavior – when it isn’t, in and of it’s own – well, I’m immediately dubious hearing that assertion.

    I do know some people who smoke pot are complete dick heads who commit violent crime, but I know lots of parents, straight-edgers, et al who have committed even more heinous acts, or lived considerably worse lives than lots of pot smokers. It’s a semi-hollow argument, there are examples for and against.

    But I don’t live in your neighborhood, and take your word on the rise in reported and visible crime.

    Um, end rant?

  17. @#22 – I agree, existing systems could be used to control the distribution of ganj, but the problem here is that growing smokable ganj is far more simple than growing smokable tobacco or distilling spirits. There is a somewhat reasonable argument that brewing spirits at home can be dangerous – poorly made spirits can kill you – but this argument is not applicable for MJ as badly grown ganj can’t kill you, it will simply not get you high.

    We need to preserve people’s rights to grow it themselves, as then we can truly know what we are consuming. Also the environment wont suffer as much from unsustainable farming practices if we somewhat take the production process out of the hands of big business.

  18. Is it possible that some nefarious group like the government is trying to set you up? I’m a long haired dude who has done recent walkabouts in S. California, no one busked me.

  19. The state govt. relented and allowed the dispensaries after much debate. I think its up to the very vocal pro-marijuana lobby to clean up its own act. The rest of nation’s states are looking very closely (I’m in RI where such legislation was just passed) and if they see that allowing these places will only lead to a decline in quality of life in their own neighborhoods, all the work done on behalf of those who truly need weed for their ailments will be set back by decades.

    Put the joints down and wake up folks.

  20. No regulation: but tax sales as any other sale.

    Complete, unfettered legalization of possession production and trade.

    Please take a look at the Senate Report I’ve linked to above.

    Complete, unfettered legal rights to use, grow and sell: in any amount.
    With perhaps an “age of discretion”, as to purchse and public use. But not any more vigorously enforced than any other “age of discretion” legislation.

    Stopping halfway across a fast-flowing river or halfway through a step can be worse than not moving at all.
    Turn the reefer clock back to 1917.

    No laws or regs about marijuana, at all. Commerce taxed like any other commerce.

    The simplest and least costly option. Pure social control: no legal control.

  21. As a “patient” of Medical Marijuana,and a Director of the Medical Marijuana Buyers Club, I know from experience that most dispensaries and delivery services are simply “for profit” operations that think they can hide behind a non-profit registration while operating like a business. From only providing marijuana and no other services to allowing out of county patients, they violate SB420 in many ways. I am not a smart man when it comes to things legal and even I can see it’s only a matter of time until cities figure out this argument and attack from that angle. And once the protection is removed, you’re just a drug dealer in everyone’s eyes. We have information on SB420 and Proposition 215 at

  22. @#21 Teapot

    “Why not legalise personal posession for ammounts up to, say… 5kg & up to 10 plants ”

    … why put limits on it at all? there’s no limit to how mant strawberries you can grow, or how much liquor you can have in your basement. legal means legal! not: ‘legal is A, B, and C, otherwise it’s illegal and we’ll getcha!’

    “All existing punishments for sales and trafficing should be doubled and applied to all ganj transactions outside of the avenues in my proposal.”

    what the fuck? if i brew my own beer and give it to a friend, or even sell it, should THAT be illegal too? can i not sell my fruits?

    you’re missing the point and taking a dangerous half step in the right direction. people shouldn’t be getting in trouble for pot in any way shape or form whatsoever start putting all these retarded rules on it and it might as well just stay illegal in Cali, since pretty much no one does time for small amounts anyways.

    if i grow something, i should be able to sell it, period, without interference, without permits, without audits, and without taxes.

  23. The thing that has always made no sense to me is that, in my limited experience, pot is easier to get than similar substances that are controlled. When I was in college, we often smoked pot because we could get it from anyone, your neighbor in the dorm, some random hippy. To get alchohol, on the other hand, you had to know someone who was old enough who would do it for you, and who wouldnt screw you over. I think its fairly arguable that marijuana is pretty harmless, however it definitely has demonstrably worse effects on younger children whose brains are still developing, and the black market sells indiscriminately to them.

    Also wanted to point out that the raids in Sd were conducted by state and local officials, not the feds, and that it was comprehensive across the city.

  24. Even people who don’t use marijuana recreationaly should support the medical use of marijuana.

    Why, you ask?

    Because you or a loved one might need it someday, and if that day arrives, do you want to have to procure your supply from a full-on illegal dealer, or would you rather to behave like a responsible citizen, and obtain your medicine through legally sanctioned channels?

    It’s a basic issue of exercising your rights…lazy potheads who complain about the medical users being hypocrites are part of the problem.

  25. If dispensaries were not for profit they would
    not exist for long; very little does.

    The local (OC) dispensaries are very tight about
    having proper paperwork. They are also discrete.

    An interesting question is whether brick and
    mortar dispensaries can compete with delivery
    only, which has lower overhead.

    Sorry to hear your dispensaries have lowlife
    clientele, some liquor stores are like that too.
    I have a master’s, kid, mortgage, went to MIT,
    so I don’t consider myself too riffraff.

  26. I’d like to see some proof that the dispensaries are a direct cause to crime. You’re blowing smoke up someone’s behind. Granted you don’t like the people, but tossing out crap opinion isn’t helping.

    Those who are patrons of the clinics should seriously try to break the “hey duuuuuddeee” schtick that isn’t helping legalization. Fact is that there are plenty of non-dreadlock people, professionals, dishwashers, church-going people who smoke. The overly skanky crowd is not helping.

  27. its a sad thing we can kill our selfs with tobacco & alcohol rape the earth with growing cotton cut down trees for paper and what ever else we use them for marijuana has so many different uses besides the medical thing we by our hemp from china to make pants shirts & socks too when is our government going to wake up hemp weed and seed is a good thing thank goodness for my dispensary help our mother earth she needs it peace

  28. Looks like a wildfire map.

    Actually, precisely the converse, as this map basically just shows pot shops showing up everywhere in the city with people. The wildfires are generally in the mountains where the people aren’t.

  29. @ #40 Does your dispensary sell periods? Or commas? Punctuation in general? I love smoking the stuff, but if it will eradicate the language, and enable all of the mouth breathing idiots, then keep it illegal. I know my dealer doesn’t support legalization.

  30. is a free community where medical marijuana patients find dispensaries in their geographic location and connect with other patients. is a free online tool used to discuss and review local cannabis co-operatives, dispensaries, medical doctors and delivery services!

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