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Marijuana Advocates Bring Anti-Prohibition Message To The Diamond

The free meeting was a kickoff to a campaign underway to allow medical marijuana facilities inside the city.

In what was billed as a town hall meeting, nearly 70 people turned out Thursday night at The Diamond Club in Lake Elsinore to hear advocates talk about marijuana.

Hosted by Lake Elsinore resident Wayne Williams, founder of We The People, the free meeting was a kickoff to a campaign underway designed to let voters decide if they want medical marijuana facilities inside their city.

Williams has filed a Notice of Intent to circulate a petition and is now in the signature-gathering phase. His initiative seeks to amend Chapter 17.156 of the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

If Williams can garner enough valid signatures, the issue would be put to Lake Elsinore voters during a 2013 special election.

According to the petition (see attached), Williams’ initiative would allow the licensing of three dispensaries for every 50,000 residents and the facilities would only be allowed to open in commercial or manufacturing zoning. Persons under 21 would not be allowed on dispensary premises, and the facilities would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools.

The initiative would also impose the following fees payable to the city: (1) an application fee of $2,500; (2) an annual license fee of $5,000; and (3) a permit fee of 8 percent of gross revenue paid quarterly.

Per the initiative, a three-member community oversight committee would be formed to oversee the dispensaries.

Guest speaker Neill Franklin, a retired Maryland police officer, told the crowd he began to think differently about America’s “War on Drugs” policy after seeing firsthand the fight’s cost in terms of money and lives. He said he watched cops and innocents get killed and communities and families ripped apart by the fight during his law enforcement career.

“It was the violence that caused me to turn 180 degrees,” he said. “It was all about the money. The War on Drugs is counterproductive to public safety.”

Franklin, who now serves as executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said the alternative is education and ending “the mess of prohibition.”

No one at Thursday’s meeting spoke out against marijuana, however Lake Elsinore Unified School District governing board member Jeanie Corral was present for part of the meeting.

She said she’s seen firsthand young lives destroyed by drug use.

“I don’t like it,” she said. “I can’t get behind this.”

Diana July 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Wayne, not sure why you categorized me with the Reverend? However you post that medical marijuana topical cream is $45 per gram, my girlfriend who has MS was a patient of one of the dispensaries when they were in operation on Grand Ave, the medical marijuana that she wanted to purchase was more on the $350 mark. She could not afford that and usually left there empty handed. I think that the earlier poster 420ready pretty much told it how it is to be a patient/ill person and his experience with the dispensaries. Do I think that dispensaries will continue to spend money and tie up the court systems with this matter, yes I do, but I also think that there are major issues that will come along with this after you have won in court. The truly ill that need medical MJ will get it without the dispensary if they really want and need it just like 420ready posted. I watched a documentary on medical MJ in Colorado and how they set it up with police monitoring inside the dispensary and so on, and even with all of this in place there is still a huge problem with dispensary owners. This issue in my opinion goes way beyond the right to just open a dispensary, there are regulations that need to apply and until all of those details are worked out I cannot see any community welcoming this with open arms.
Wildomar Resident July 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Put the same restrictions on this as we have on cigarettes and alcohol and then let it be sold in the same manner. Sales taxes are collected. Stores face the same fines/risks. Competition keeps prices in line. Prescriptions are a joke. If we start with the special permits and application fees, the City Of Wildomar will likely want to hire 3 people and rent more space, resulting in a net loss.
Lou Cypher July 30, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Meanwhile cigarettes are killing hundreds of thousands of people via cancer, and people are crashing their cars left and right while wasted. Yep, marijuana is definitely the problem.
26YearsInTown August 10, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Wildomar Resident has it right. Pot can be used for many reasons, just like alcohol and cigarettes. I've seen these dispensaries and they just look crappy. The production and sale of MJ shoud be taxed and regulated just the same as the cigs and alcohol (which kill people daily). For the state of California, it might even solve the budget deficit! The sale of MJ to people because they are "patients" is ridiculous. This industry could create untold numbers of jobs, and guaranteed revenue for the state. I think the whole dispensary thing is just too dependent on the participants morals and behavior. Let's Go Big or Go Home on this one, guys.
Paul August 21, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Some interesting comments here. I visited here to invite anyone interested to visit a comment debate that has been going on since July. We now have over 530 comments posted and growing daily. There are answers posted to many of the questions some of you are asking. And some of you may want to contribute to our discussion. The comments on this general subject on the Murrieta Patch are still continuing since July 8. There are now 530 comments thru Monday 8-20-12, mostly by persons trying to make well-informed comments as they see it. Many comments are by a staunch anti-pot crusader that thinks alcohol is OK but marijuana is terrible. There are many well-written rebuttals (I think). So you can read points on both sides of the issues. There are also several discussions of the evils of alcohol versus evils or blessings of marijuana. If you look at this link you have to wait a minute for it until the ads appear, then you can scroll down or quicker hit your "end" button then scroll up a ways to see the most recent comments. It seems to take longer to start up with so many comments. http://murrieta.patch.com/articles/atttorney-murrieta-not-affected-by-marijuana-dispensary-ruling

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