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Pot dispensary opens up above 12-step meeting space The Alano Club

A cannabis dispensary has brought some irony to San Diego, and a lot of controversy to go along with it.

ABC News 10 reporter Itica Milanes reports that the well-known addiction recovery organization “Live and Let Live Alano Club,” in University Heights has a new upstairs neighbor that will threaten those that attend meetings to help them recover from addiction.

Eric Samuelson is the Chair of the Alano club and he says the 12-step program and meeting hall has been in the same spot since 1994.

Located at 1730 Monroe in San Diego, the venue has become a popular place for people trying to get their lives together by sharing their stories and sponsoring those in need of assistance.

Samuelson says in the ABC News report that a few months ago, an efflux of strong odors started to infiltrate the safe place through the ceiling tiles which got people very concerned.

What people are smelling in the Alano Club is marijuana; the new upstairs tenants turned out to be a pot dispensary.

“For people in recovery that smell that odor,” Samuelson told the Milanes, “it is what they call a trigger. Which could trigger them to go back out and use again. “

Customers of the dispensary, Samuelson says, often interrupt recovery meetings looking for the pot dispensary and often times light up right outside the gathering’s doors.

ABC News tried to contact the landlord, Albert Hannah, but instead of making a statement referred the news organization to his lawyers and sent a copy of the dispensary’s lease.

The lease states the proprietor, Shaker Assofi, owner of the cannabis shop originally listed his business as an office space and general retail outlet.

Hannah, once he found out what Assofi was actually using the office for, quickly posted a three day notice to quit, demanding that the dispensary owner move out of the premises within 72 hours. But Assofi is not moving and there are no signs that he plans to do so.

The intrepid ABC reporter then went to the upstairs office itself to talk with someone from inside the dispensary. She was greeted by an intercom and not allowed in. She asked if the organization was in fact selling pot.

The person on the other side of the closed door talked with her through the voice box, saying no, they don’t not sell marijuana, but instead run the business through free, open exchange.

“No, everything here is donation, everyone who works here is a volunteer. Everybody who receives it [marijuana] they do it by donation,” the voice behind the intercom told her.

Milanes says the City’s Attorney’s office told her they have filed a contempt of court action against the dispensary for operating without a license, and that any day police department should be taking action.

Timothy Rawles is Community Editor of SDGLN. He can be reached at editor@sdgln.com, @reporter66 on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.