Proponents of permitting medical marijuana dispensaries in Lake Elsinore are holding a town hall meeting Thursday featuring some of the leading advocates and commentators on the legalization issue.
Sponsored by We the People for Common Sense in Lake Elsinore, the forum is scheduled to run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Diamond Club in The Diamond minor-league baseball stadium, 500 Diamond Drive, in Lake Elsinore.
We the People leader Wayne Williams said the talk, for which there is no charge to attend, is designed to be educational as well as a vehicle for gauging support for the organization’s campaign to allow medical marijuana distribution facilities in the city.
“We’re really trying to educate the most important groups in the community —- individuals concerned about law enforcement, mothers, the health community,” he said. “That’s why we’ve tapped into all these speakers, as well as representatives of the veterans community. We think this town hall meeting will definitely advance education to more groups in the community.”
Scheduled speakers are:
Neill Franklin, executive director of Massachusetts-based Law Enforcement Against Prohibition;
Charles Monson, founder of Wheels of Mercy;
Robert Platshorn, founder of The Silver Tour;
Joe Grumbine, founder of The Human Solution;
Riverside County attorney Tom Eckhardt;
Gretchen Burns Bergman, executive director of A New PATH;
Dr. David Bearman, a physician and public health administrator;
Michael Krawitz, director of Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access;
Activist and author Ed Rosenthal.
“None of them are going to cheerlead for our agenda,” Williams said. “That’s not the point. I wanted to make sure the community had an opportunity to hear from some of their contemporaries in various fields.”
The public will be able to ask questions and voice their sentiments, Williams said.
The meeting coincides with We the People’s petition drive to gather signatures in support of an election asking voters if they would pass an ordinance allowing a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Lake Elsinore. Such facilities are now prohibited.
A similar petition launched by Williams and supporters in 2010 failed to generate enough signatures among Lake Elsinore voters to require the city to hold an election.
The group plans a much more vigorous effort this year, he said, with the town hall being a springboard for the campaign.
“Let’s say the community comes out and they’re 100 percent against it —- what’s the point of doing a ballot initiative?” Williams said. “But I know the majority of the community will support it as long as there’s reasonable guidelines in place.”