By Paul Eakins, Posted in Long Beach Press Telegram
LONG BEACH – Local medical marijuana advocates hope to clear the air about the drug with a two-day event this weekend.
The Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County Medical Marijuana Exposition and Patients Film Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St.
One of the organizers, well-known medical marijuana advocate Richard Eastman, said that the expo is “an educational event” that is being held because of Long Beach being the center of a heated debate on marijuana.”
The High Quiggle Healing Center, a Long Beach medical marijuana collective that is being forced to close because of the city’s new marijuana laws, is also sponsoring the event.
The City Council approved controversial medical marijuana rules this year to control how and where marijuana collectives operate, implemented hefty application fees, and used what some marijuana advocates say was an unfair lottery process to determine which collectives may remain open.
Dennis Peron, one of the co-authors of Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which voters approved to legalize medical marijuana in California, will attend the event Saturday, said Eastman, who is also a pioneer of the medical marijuana movement.
“I thought it would be over with 1996,” Eastman said. “We brought (the expo) here to educate the patients in Long Beach about what Dennis and I originally envisioned.”
The event will include live outdoor music, guest speakers, medical cannabis exhibitors (no marijuana will be sold), fire dancers and other entertainment. Four films about medical marijuana and advocacy will be shown.
A $5 donation is requested to attend the expo, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.