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40 Acres

Berkeley Pot Club's Icky Too Sticky for Local Parents

Scott Lucas | November 17, 2014 | Story Politics

The city of Berkeley might be giving away marijuana to low-income residents, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete free-for-all over there. There’s one force greater in East Bay politics than marijuana: concerned parents.

Just ask the proprieters of the 40 Acres pot club on San Pablo Avenue. After years of complaints, the city of Berkeley may shut down the club, which has some 7000 customers, over neighborhood complaints and zoning issues.

The culprit? There are many. But it might just be that the dank has too much stank. Neighbors are fed up with—among other things—the heavy aroma of marijuana that the club emits. One local told CBS, “We go into the front yard, it smells like marijuana. Where are going to take our kids to play?” It’s not just the fumes though, it’s what neighbors are calling a culture of lawlessness that surrounds the facility. Said another neighbor, “This is a party zone. You’ll see people dancing on top of their cars, openly drug dealing.” (You think that's bad, just read their Yelp page.)

At a recent meeting of the Zoning Board, city officials declared 40 Acres a public nuisance. The City Council is now scheduled to take up the issue, and could order the club’s closure. Club owner Christopher Smith denies wrongdoing and says he’s being unfairly targeted. If the City Council harshes his mellow, he says he’ll appeal.

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