On the night of June 28th, 2012 a group of local volunteers from Lake Elsinore, California will be hosting a town hall meeting for the purpose of opening a dialogue with citizens about bringing medical cannabis dispensaries to the town.

The group of volunteers – We the People for Common Sense in Lake Elsinore – sent out a press releaase on the event recently and it read, in part:

“We understand that this is a very controversial issue that affects everyone in our community.  Our challenge is to open a dialog about the benefits of establishing a fair and safe ordinance, provide education and responsible leadership so that people can make a sensible decision based on the facts and economic realities,” said Wayne Williams.

“To open the dialog about this issue we will be hosting a town hall meeting Thursday night June 28, 2012 in Lake Elsinore.  The panel speakers include representatives of law enforcement, a national organization for veterans, concerned parents, and senior citizens.  Also a member of the medical community, political activist, a quadriplegic patient, a recognized authority on medical marijuana, and a attorney,” said Wayne Williams.

“We look forward to engaging all concerned members of the community with this informative event,” said Wayne Williams.

The proposed ordinance closely follows the state law allowing the dispensaries and in fact actually imposes significant additional restrictions on the operation of such dispensaries.

For example, the ordinance stipulates hours of operation, internal security, strict background checks for potential dispensary operators, and absolute enforcement of true non-profit status.

Additionally, the ordinance would impose an annual business license fee of $5,000 plus 8 percent of the annual gross revenue, to be paid to the City.  Severe zoning restrictions, detailed record keeping requirements, and the ability of either the City Manager and/or the City Council to relatively easily revoke the license if the regulations are not strictly followed are also included in the ordinance.

“These dispensaries will not be fly-by-night, will not be in conflict with City Hall, and will not be ‘cash cows’ for the operators and employees,” Wayne Williams said.  “These will be the dispensaries specifically contemplated by and allowed by state law.”

Besides collecting signatures in the next few months, We the People will be holding a number of public education sessions to both inform Lake Elsinore residents of the truth of the issues surrounding medical marijuana and to listen to and address any resident’s concerns that may exist.

“We understand that this is not a simple issue and we respect everyone’s opinion on the matter,” said Wayne Williams.  “Our job is to do the best job we can to educate everyone about facts of the ordinance and of medical marijuana itself.”

The group has already set up a website – www.commonsenselakeelsinore.org where copies of the initiative petition can be downloaded, along with significant information on the issues addressed.

For more information or to ask questions or to volunteer for and/or donate to the effort, please email wethepeopleofelsinore@gmail.com.

In the end, it as the old saying goes, “all politics is local.” It is where activism starts and decisions are made.

– Joe Klare

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