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LEWISTON, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, doesn’t support making marijuana legal for recreational use at the national level.
But in November, Lewiston voters will get a shot at sending a message to Congress and the Legislature when they vote on a citywide ballot question that would make possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older.
“From a federal perspective, if there were a bill in the Senate to legalize marijuana, I would vote against it,” Collins said.
That decision, she said, is based on extensive conversations she has had with medical professionals, law enforcement and others about what they are seeing in Maine in terms of substance abuse and a growing body of science that suggests marijuana use by teens can have a damaging impact on brain development.
“When we legalize a controlled substance, we send a message that there is no harm and that, based on all the conversations I’ve had with medical personnel and others, is just not the case,” Collins said.
Her position contrasts sharply with that of her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows, former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.
“We need to end the war on drugs and reform our criminal justice system,” Bellows said. “We cannot afford to wait. We should treat drug use and marijuana use as a public health issue, rather than a criminal one. I support marijuana legalization.”
Portland voters in November 2013 overwhelmingly approved an ordinance change legalizing adult possession of
LEWISTON — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, doesn’t support making marijuana legal for recreational use at the national level.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, says she opposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults. Her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows, says the U.S. needs to end the prohibition on marijuana. In November, Lewiston voters will not only decide which candidate they want, but also will vote on whether to make the possession of up to 1½ ounces of marijuana legal for adults.
But in November, Lewiston voters will get a shot at sending a message to Congress and the state Legislature when they vote on a citywide ballot question that would make possession of up to 1½ ounces of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.
“From a federal perspective, if there were a bill in the Senate to legalize marijuana, I would vote against it,” Collins said. That decision, she said, is based on extensive conversations she has had with medical professionals, law enforcement and others about what they are seeing in Maine
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WATERVILLE — Officials from three agencies seized heroin, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and pills Wednesday during simultaneous searches of two apartments on College Avenue and Broadway Street.
Three people were charged with drug trafficking, and two others were issued a summons to answer drug-related charges.
The busts followed a four-month investigation by Waterville police, Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, according to Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey.
Andrew Maheu, 27, and Cassandra Dion, 27, both of 17 Broadway St., Apt. 1, were arrested Wednesday and charged after authorities searched their apartment, Massey said. They were charged with aggravated trafficking in heroin, a class A felony; unlawful furnishing of Oxycodone and unlawful trafficking in marijuana, both class C felonies; and unlawful possession of psychedelic mushrooms, a class D misdemeanor.
Authorities seized 23.6 grams of heroin, which has a street value of about $6,000, as well as 20 30 mg Oxycodone pills worth an estimated $800 on the street, Massey said. They also seized 2.5 pounds of processed marijuana (ready to smoke) and 5.2 grams of mushrooms. The value of the pot and mushrooms was unavailable.
He said there were also 200 unidentified pills seized, and once they’re tested, there may be more charges.
Officials also found 90 marijuana plants in the apartment, which is
LEWISTON – U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, doesn’t support making marijuana legal for recreational use at the national level.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at left says she opposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults. Her Democratic opponent Shenna Bellows, right, says the U.S. needs to end the prohibtion on marijuana. In November Lewiston voters will not only decide on which candidate they want, but also on whether to pass a city ordinance change to make the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana legal for adults.
But, in November, Lewiston voters will get a shot at sending a message to Congress and the state Legislature when they vote on a citywide ballot question that would change the city’s ordinance to make possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana legal for adults over 21.
“From a federal perspective, if there were a bill in the Senate to legalize marijuana, I would vote against it,” Collins said. That decision, she said, is based on extensive
YORK, Maine – As of today, the town of York will put marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. The Marijuana Policy Project submitted more than 900 signatures to town officials this afternoon, more than enough needed to qualify for a citizen initiative. It’s the third municipality in Maine to send the issue to voters, which is a growing concern for opponents.
It was just last year that Portland legalized recreational marijuana. David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project hopes Lewiston, South Portland, and York will follow suit this year. Boyer says the Marijuana Policy Project targeted York in particular because of what he describes as aggressive police enforcement of marijuana laws.
“The amount of summons that police here give, we were astonished that it was more than places like Portland and Lewiston, even South Portland,” Boyer says.
If the ballot initiative passes, it will make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana in non-public settings. Boyer says marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and adults shouldn’t be punished for using it. Scott Gagnon of Smart Approaches to Marijuana – or SAM – agrees there are social justice issues associated with marijuana.
But “that’s something that’s not particular to marijuana,” he says. “You look at alcohol arrests right now, there’s higher arrest rates among minorities and vulnerable populations, so clearly legalization doesn’t solve that issue.”
Gagnon says York is already dealing with problems from the legalization of medical marijuana in the state. He
WATERVILLE — The following cases were closed July 7-11, 2014, in Waterville District Court.
Cindy Abbott, 35, Waterville, criminal trespass, May 24, 2014, in Waterville; $100 fine.
Jama Ahmed, 20, Lewiston, minor possessing liquor, April 24, 2014, in Waterville; dismissed.
Bedina J. Austin, 48, Lisbon, attaching false plates, April 12, 2014, in Waterville; dismissed.
Misty D. Bailey, 38, Waterville, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, May 27, 2014, in Waterville; $150 fine.
Kelly Batchelder, 47, Waterville, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, May 24, 2014, in Waterville; $300 fine.
Mary Bolduc, 56, Fairfield, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, May 15, 2014, in Waterville; $150 fine.
Theodore E. Bradstreet, 67, Albion, motor vehicle speeding 30 plus miles over speed limit, April 30, 2014, in Benton; $400 fine.
Ricky Brown, 41, Augusta, attaching false plates, May 3, 2014, in Mount Vernon; $100 fine.
Aric L. Chabot, 27, Waterville, operate under the influence (OUI), May 24, 2014, in Waterville; $500 fine, 150 day license suspension.
Sarah E. Chiasson, 31, Mount Vernon, operate while license suspended or revoked with prior, May 23, 2014, in Belgrade; $500 fine.
Nathan Conley, 29, Waterville,, operating while license suspended or revoked, May 21, 2014, in Winslow; $250 fine.
Raymond R. Cooper, 33, Augusta, criminal trespass, May 3, 2013, in Winslow; 364 day jail sentence, all but 14 days suspended, one year administrative release.
Kassey M. Corbin, 20, Waterville, criminal trespass, June 17, 2014, in Oakland; 30 day jail sentence, $120 restitution. Violating condition of release, June 22, 2014, in Oakland; 30 day jail sentence. Theft by unauthorized taking or
An Old Orchard Beach man faces charges of drug trafficking after a domestic dispute led police to seize seven pounds of marijuana worth more than $30,000.
Stanley Dunham is free on $5,000 bail after his arrest a week ago on the drug charges.
Police were called to 13 Ryefield Drive at 2:42 a.m. on Aug. 10 and were told that Dunham had just left in a black sport utility vehicle. Police stopped Dunham a short distance from the house and charged him with driving under the influence.
That stop led to a search warrants at the house and for the car, said Detective Corporal Jeff Reagan. Executing the search warrants later that day led to the marijuana, some of which was in the car, and to $7,000 in cash, he said.
Dunham was arrested on a warrant two days later. He was not charged in connection with the domestic dispute, Reagan said.
Dunham is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 29.
David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
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NEW YORK — Researchers aren’t sure why, but in the 23 states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis.
“Most of the discussion on medical marijuana has been about its effect on individuals in terms of reducing pain or other symptoms,” said lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber in an email to Reuters Health. “The unique contribution of our study is the finding that medical marijuana laws and policies may have a broader impact on public health.”
California, Oregon and Washington first legalized medical marijuana before 1999, with 10 more following suit between then and 2010, the time period of the analysis. Another 10 states and Washington, D.C. adopted similar laws since 2010.
For the study, Bachhuber, of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues used state-level death certificate data for all 50 states between 1999 and 2010.
In states with a medical marijuana law, overdose deaths from opioids like morphine, oxycodone and heroin decreased by an average of 20 percent after one year, 25 percent by two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six compared to what would have been expected, according to results in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Meanwhile, opioid overdose deaths across the country increased dramatically, from 4,030 in 1999 to 16,651 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three of every four of those deaths involved prescription pain medications.
Of those who
WISCASSET, Maine — Police continued to search Monday for a 32-year-old man who they say terrorized an 88-year-old family member.
Daniel Colby Jr. of Wiscasset allegedly ran from police on the evening of Aug. 20 when they tried to serve him with paperwork to forbid him from harassing the 88-year-old woman or trespassing at her Rumerill Road home, Wiscasset Police Chief Troy Cline said Monday.
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office dog tracked Colby back to the home later, but he again left the area, according to Cline.
“We do consider him dangerous,” Cline said. “He’s a known drug abuser, and while he is not armed that we know of, this is [a family member] he’s terrorizing.”
The woman, who was treated at a local hospital on Aug. 20, believes Colby, who “lives on and off with her,” is trying to poison her, although Cline said there is no evidence of that.
“He belittles and berates her,” he said. “It’s basically elder abuse. He’s made repeated threats and comments about wishing she would die. He’s said it so many times she’s afraid he’s trying to kill her.”
On the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 21, police went to Bradford Road after residents reported hearing shots fired, and they reportedly discovered 20 to 25 marijuana plants outside an abandoned mobile home on Colby’s father’s property that Colby has been known to stay in.
Cline said Colby’s license to grow medical marijuana has expired.
On Monday, Cline sought a warrant for Colby’s arrest. He will likely be charged with domestic violence stalking,
LEBANON, Maine — The Southern Maine First Annual Green-Love Celebration began on Friday with some 70 people in attendance. Teri Poirer and others, people she referred to as “the committee”, began planning the event five weeks ago. Teri is the spokeswoman, the host and the principle person in charge of the event. She wears her green t-shirt covered in black, block lettering proudly and is determined to ensure the success of the event and to maintain the spirit in which the event was intended.
“I expect every person here respects what’s going on. They understand this is not the place for illegal drinking, excessive drinking or illegal drugs. That’s what it is not about. It is about showing society that we are a bunch of nice people who want their legal, natural medications.” The event is intended to illuminate and educate people on the subject of medical marijuana and to create an atmosphere of open dialogue regarding the controversial subject. Teri hopes people on all sides of the debate attend.
The presence of marijuana at the Green-Love Celebration was in the air and in the hands of festival goers. According to Teri, people utilizing marijuana must possess a medical marijuana certificate. Medical marijuana was made legal in Maine in 1999, according to Maine.gov. However, it was not until October of 2009 when the Obama administration stated that it would no longer prosecute marijuana users and caregivers if their activities met the legislative requirements of individual states. Maine is the fifth state