Marijuana Dispensary Offers More Than Just a Joint

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I’ve never actually been inside a marijuana dispensary, which is kind of ridiculous considering there are about 550 in Los Angeles and my husband can actually prescribe the medicine as a family medicine doctor. But then again, you need to be a medical marijuana card holder to enter most dispensaries, and I still can’t talk said husband into hooking it up (he mentioned something about losing his license). So imagine my excitement when I picked up a flyer for free healing workshops that were open to the public at Arts District Healing Center just east of downtown. Booyah! I’m in.

I walked into the highest-rated pot shop in L.A. and instantly got Amsterdam flashbacks. The place was packed with random long-haired hippie-ish cholos, men in their 50s, cute girls working the cafe counter, and a guy with a badge I believe was a sheriff. Weird. The space prides itself on educating the community on the healing aspects of marijuana and offers workshops on everything from ‘Intro to Meditation’ to ‘Tools for Core Healing,’ which is what I was there for. I passed well-groomed pot plants and bright paintings in a beautiful courtyard on my way to check in. After getting slapped with a wristband designated for non-pot card holders, I entered the secret society of legal marijuana smokers. I felt liberated, but a little left out. I want to smoke too!

I browsed the glass pipes, extra large lighters and herbal specials of the day, which I was not allowed to purchase, before sitting down in a tiny section of the dispensary reserved for workshops. Led by energy-healing power couple, Drew Martinez and Monica Loren of Transformation Now, we started the session by closing our eyes and imagining someone that recently did us wrong. I tried my best to meditate amidst loud bong coughs and my itching curiosity to keep observing the eccentrics surrounding me. I finally tapped into my spiritual space and learned simple ways to deal with those negative voices inside your head that keep you down.

There I was focusing on my breath, listening to positive affirmations and learning that nothing matters more than just being present with yourself. While most were eating salads and tostadas laced with weed and sampling their new stash, a group of about five of us were getting centered. In a marijuana dispensary. And no, we weren’t barefoot and wearing yoga pants with flowers in our hair. Most of us had just gotten off work and were wearing jeans and leather boots. It was then that I realized this is what the new generation of hippies looks like: everyday folks that sympathize with the 99%, but know that nothing can’t be changed unless we change ourselves. If that means attending free healing circles inside marijuana dispensaries, sign me up. Second hand smoke does this body good.

For an energy healing session by Drew and Monica, check out their website. The Arts District Healing Center is located at 620 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012.