Portland, OR– Many consider it urban art. But at least one person considers it enough of a nuisance to file a complaint with the City of Portland.
The space monkey marijuana mural is on display on the side of the building housing Don Van Wormer’s Alternative Solutions marijuana dispensary.
Located at SE 136th Avenue and Powell, Van Wormer said he paid more than $1,000 to have Portland artist Pablo Gonzalez paint the mural.
“It was for the neighborhood, to clean it up, give it some color, some fresh air,” Van Wormer said. “Kinda like Alberta Street when it was bad back in the day, and now you go down there and look at some of the murals and stuff on the walls. Look what that neighborhood done.”
Van Wormer is an advocate of cannabis and community beautification.
But not everyone agrees — an official complaint has been filed with the City of Portland because the painting shows marijuana use. City officials confirmed the complaint and said there wasn’t a permit taken out to paint the mural.
Neighbors have also complained about the content of Gonzalez’s mural. They ask if ask if it’s “really necessary to have a monkey smoking a bong” on the side of a building.
The Oregon Health Authority says the ad doesn’t violate any current marijuana advertising rules. However, those rules are set to change next month, and include a ban on showing anyone using marijuana or using cartoon characters that might appeal to children.
Van Wormer said he has a plan if the city makes him get rid of the mural.
“We’ll put a peace sign up there, and that’s what we’ll do!”