Marijuana mural in southeast Portland causes controversy - KPTV - FOX 12

Marijuana mural in southeast Portland causes controversy

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The mural depicts an ape in a space suit smoking marijuana (Photo: KPTV) The mural depicts an ape in a space suit smoking marijuana (Photo: KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A mural on a building in Southeast Portland is turning heads and causing some controversy.

On the corner of SE 136th and Powell, a painting of an ape in a space suit smoking marijuana has caused some people to speak up about the issue, stating it is not a positive influence on children who see it.

Don Van Wormer, who owns Alternative Solutions Dispensary and the building, said the area attracts negative activity. He said the mural was completed last week and has fended off those who notoriously tagged his business.

“They don’t tag murals usually,” Van Wormer said.

Van Wormer said one person has filed a complaint to the city of Portland.

Fox 12 reached out to the Bureau of Development Services who said Van Wormer has not filed a permit to classify the painting as a mural, therefore it’s considered a sign. By code, a sign will need a permit and to be approved.

The city says they will investigate the situation this week.

“That was the point,” Van Wormer said. “to clean it up and to get attention.”

A handful of people in the neighborhood said they do not mind the mural and call it art.

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