December 10, 2011

Marijuana Store Display Upsets Parents In Malibu

December 10, 2011
marijuana window display
marijuana window display
photo by The Malibu Times

Malibu Shopping Center Owners Try To Play ‘The Grinch That Stole Marijuana Christmas

Apparently advertising your Christmas deals with marijuana themes is upsetting ‘some parents’ in Malibu, California. Kitson, a clothing and apparel store, put up a marijuana themed display in the window of their store at the Malibu Lumber Yard Shopping Center. As seems to always be the case these days, some ‘politically correct’ minded people have spoken out about how it is offensive and shouldn’t be around their children.

Unfortunately, the shopping center’s owners agree with the uptight parents. “We’re disappointed,” co-owner Daniel Blatteis said. “It sends a wrong message to the community at large. We have told Kitson they must remove the signage. It is not in keeping of the quality nature of the project. We are upset over the uproar it has caused in the community.” Daniel Blatteis owns the shopping center along with Richard Weintraub.

Kitson clothing store is owned by Fraser Ross. Fraser Ross feels that the marijuana themed display is a protective form of expression. “Windows are an interpretation,” Ross said. “As long as you’re not slandering anyone we should be free to put up what we want.” He added that if any young children were capable of grasping the marijuana innuendo, “there’s something wrong there anyway.”

The shopping center owners are trying to go to the city to get the display taken down, with mixed results. City Manager Jim Thorsen told The Malibu Times that the marijuana display was ‘done in poor taste’ and was being removed. However, as with any city government, the process involves more than just the City Manager. Enter Malibu Planning Director Joyce Parker-Bozylinski. “The city does not regulate content,” Parker-Bozylinski said. “As long as they are following sign ordinance of location, size and number of signs, they are not in violation of any rules and we cannot ask them to take it down.”

Parker-Bozylinski went on to say “[Weintraub and Blatteis] are responsible for the things that go on between their tenants and the master lessee,” Thorsen said. “And they’re addressing that in whatever fashion is appropriate. At this time it’s strictly between the tenant and the master lessee.” Kitson owner Fraser Ross has a solution that would benefit everyone in this time of need. “I just think that there’s more problems in Malibu than worrying about a window, such as homelessness,” Ross said. “If anyone is really upset about the fixture, they can buy it from us for $5,000 and we will donate the money to the local homeless shelter.”

I honestly can’t believe that in 2011 almost 2012, people would be offended by a marijuana leaf, especially in Southern California. It’s no secret that there are a lot of marijuana consumers in Southern California, both medical and recreational, and it should be no surprise that retailers are trying to go after such a large demographic. The display is undeniably legal. It’s a significant form of political and artistic expression if I’ve ever scene it, regardless if there is a minority that doesn’t like it. That’s the whole point of freedom of expression, to peacefully voice opposition to areas of politics and law that you don’t agree with, especially through art. I also can’t believe that the owners would be so harsh to a good tenant in such horrible economic times. You would think those idiots would be defending their tenants so they don’t move and the spot goes vacant!


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