Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

The vernacular landscape of medical marijuana dispensaries

Marijuana Dispensaries
Geographer Peirce Lewis once called the vernacular landscape our "unwitting autobiography." That got me thinking about one aspect of Southern California's vernacular landscape: the medical marijuana dispensaries that have proliferated in recent years.

Over the last several years, my students at Cal State Northridge and I have built a large photographic database of medical marijuana dispensaries. We documented the buildings and their signs and parking lots. Then, working from a list of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries compiled by The Times, we performed a content analysis of trends and patterns among dispensaries.

In the end, we identified four main dispensary types: ones that project the image of mainstream medical providers; ones that project a holistic "granola" vibe; ones that look like bunkers and appear to want to go unnoticed; and ones that make a clear appeal to "stoners," casting themselves as dispensing recreation rather than medicine.

You can see them for yourself in this collection of photos from our database taken between 2009 and now, with most of the photos snapped in spring 2010. They capture a moment in time when there was a proliferation of dispensaries.

PHOTO GALLERY: L.A.'s marijuana dispensaries by type

ALSO:

L.A.'s bike lane blooper

Obey the law, Sheriff Baca

L.A.'s truancy trouble -- a fresh look

--Steven M. Graves

Dr. Steven M. Graves is a professor at Cal State Northridge in the Department of Geography. He is also president of the California Geographical Society.

Photo: Various marijuana dispensaries. Credit: Steven M. Graves / For The Times

 

Comments () | Archives (0)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...