The city of Sutherlin is after your giant joints.
In early July, the tiny southern Oregon town of Sutherlin made the rounds on social media when a quirky gift shop, Magic Mushrooms Oregon Gifts, debuted a 27-foot sculpture of a joint to adorn the shop’s roof. The joint is visible from I-5 and blows real smoke from a smoke machine inside the shop. Now, the city of Sutherlin has decided to bring it down for code violations, despite the multiple mushrooms scultures already prominently displayed on the shop’s roof.
In a letter obtained by EW from city of Sutherlin employee Vicki Luther to Magic Mushrooms Oregon Gifts owners Linda and Harry Pinsent, the city notifies the Pinsents that “the type of sign recently placed at the subject location is considered a roof sign,” and “a roof sign is not listed as a permitted sign in the C-3 zoning district [Section 3.7.260] and is not listed as one of the exempt signs.”
The letter goes on, “Therefore, the recent roof sign placed atop the commercial building is not a permitted sign in the C-3 zone of the Development Code and has to be removed from the property within 30 days of the date of this letter [July 21].”
After receiving the letter, Harry Pinsent says he was “not too happy, that’s for sure.” He says he feels the letter “goes against freedom of speech. It’s art, and the city is saying it’s a sign. It’s not a sign, and there’s no wording on it.”
Pinsent says he put the joint on top of his shop to celebrate recreational marijuana legalization on July 1. He says despite having had several other sculptures on top of his building for 15 years, the city has never requested that he remove them.
A change.org petition is circulating online to save the giant joint from removal, because “they are only targeting this one particular sculpture for breaking code … The fact they aren’t enforcing the code on other businesses, or even on the 10-foot tall mushroom sculptures that have topped the Oregon Gifts shop for approximately 15 years, shows that this is an attack based on political views of the council members, and not the code itself.”
The petition currently has 848 supporters, 152 signatures away from its goal of 1,000. Check out the petition here.