The Lighthouse, a marijuana dispensary located on Avenue 48 at the border of the city of Coachella and the city of Indio has been a topic of debate and an ongoing lawsuit in the past months. Residents around the area are concerned about the location of the dispensary and its possible impact on the community. One of those concerned locals is Mario Chaparro who has lived in Coachella for 18 years.
“I am very worried because I have children and we come to play to this park, so how is it possible that we have a dispensary so close to a park and to a school,” Chaparro said. “It makes no sense to me.”
Neighbors like Chaparro have said that it is too close to Martin Van Buren Elementary School, a homeless shelter and a residential area. This is why the city of Indio filed a lawsuit against the city of Coachella.
“One can perceive the smell and then kids ask what it is, and we can’t lie and say that no one is smoking marijuana because it’s something that is happening,” Chaparro said.
Coachella City Officials say that Lighthouse dispensary meets the criteria that the state allows, so for now, they are just waiting for the courts to make a decision on this case. The city of Indio did not issue a response regarding the status of the lawsuit nor the city’s stance on this issue.
Neighbors across the street from The Lighthouse said the dispensary has brought in more traffic to the area. Like Chaparro, they want city officials to consult with the community before big projects are approved.
“I want them to move the dispensaries from the city, they should move them to the outskirts of town,” Chaparro said.
Several Coachella residents are planning a peaceful protest on Saturday at 11 am demanding a relocation for The Lighthouse.