Medical marijuana advocates offered 1,000 free hamburgers to draw supporters to Tuesday night's Lake Forest City Council meeting, but only 300 showed up to plead with city officials to reconsider their attempts to shut down 14 cannabis dispensaries around town.
(See photographer Christopher Victorio's slideshow.)
With stomachs swelled and munchies satisfied by the burgers, that was enough to jam pack the proceedings.
Lake Forest's tiny council chambers only seat 200 people.
Pro-pot-teers came with signs blaring "Support Prop. 215" (in reference to California's medical marijuana initiative overwhelmingly supported by voters), "Move If You Don't Support California Law" and "Alcohol and Tobacco Kill. Marijuana Saved My Life."
Stiff-shirted council members heard from a young guy who reached the podium in a walker, a retired Air Force veteran and seniors from Laguna Woods who all say they need safe, legal and easy access to medical cannabis.
There were also advocates--including representatives from Medical Marijuana, Inc.; OC NORML, the local chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws; Americans For Safe Access; and OC Weedly, a collective of medical marijuana dispensaries--who urged the council to consider generating more tax income from the facilities instead of driving them out of town.
Representatives from parent-teacher organizations in Lake Forest also showed up to applaud the council's Sept. 1 announcement that it had filed civil complaints against 35 people associated with 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city and called on immediate prosecution and abatement of the storefronts.
That announcement led to at least two rallies in town by many of the same cannabis supporters who addressed the council Tuesday night.
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No official action was taken by the council because the matter had not been placed on the agenda. One thing the cannabis supporters asked for is such an official hearing.
""We respectfully ask that we receive a public hearing on this," said Bryan Jordan, owner of God's Green Earth Compassionate Outreach of Foothill Ranch, according to an Orange County Register report.
A motion to do so was not offered by the council. You might even say it fell on deaf ears.
Hey, you know what helps treat that?