Dear South Seattle Cop: How Does SE Seattle Support So Many Pot Shops?


“Ask South Seattle Cop” is a new column written by an anonymous South Precinct police officer and longtime Rainier Valley Post contributor. Send your questions for South Seattle Cop to editor@rainiervalleypost.com.

Greener Grad: How does Southeast Seattle support so many medical marijuana dispensaries? People say that South Seattle could not support a Trader Joe’s store, yet marijuana isn’t cheap. Are customers driving from all over the area to get pot, or do all the customers live in Southeast?

SSC: Yes, people do come here from outlying areas to buy weed. However, much of what is being purchased here is smoked here as well.

South Seattle probably could support a Trader Joe’s if it sold weed brownies…and was fortified like a forward base camp in Iraq.

In other words, due to the Law of Supply and Demand, Southeast Seattle probably could support a Trader Joe’s, IF it sold marijuana and marijuana-infused products. The problem is that pot shops are often targeted by violent, heavily armed criminals who employ takeover and home-invasion style robberies, making the security precautions needed for a weed-selling Trader Joe’s not only prohibitively expensive, but uninviting.

Also, we have so many weed-grow operations based in the residential areas of South Seattle that the weed shops don’t need to go far to obtain inventory. Perhaps its a matter of logistical convenience?

Unfortunately, we also have regular residential structure fires caused by the frequent bypassing and overloading of electrical systems.

That said, the explosion of these businesses is not limited to South Seattle. Take a walk down “The Ave” on the west side of the UW campus sometime. Go further into the commercial zones on main arterials in North Seattle and see how many of these places have sprouted up.

The dialogue that occurs here between friends, neighbors and engaged citizens is one of the features that makes your RVP such a valuable community resource. Your RVP does not necessarily endorse the opinions expressed. Photo/Rainier Valley Post

Editor’s note: This post has been amended for clarification since its original publication.