Archive for January, 2014

Don’t dare

January 31st, 2014

Supporters of legalized marijuana have a serious medical problem they need to address. There’s now scientific evidence that the mere mention of repealing laws against possession and use of pot makes Maine politicians go squishy in the head.

In tests conducted by a team of researchers (please note: The preceding phrase is subject to credibility issues with regard to the terms “tests,” “conducted” and “team of researchers”), normal people, when asked if they favored repealing laws making the drug illegal, all had answers beginning with words like “yes” and “no.” Mostly “yes.” In other words, nearly everyone knows where they stand on that issue, and a clear majority supports ending the war on weed.

Note that I wrote “nearly.” That’s because there’s a small group, primarily composed of what scientists classify as “wimps,” who are incapable of admitting how they feel about unfettering the kind bud from its statutory limitations. Investigators believe this is because they lack two glandular factors called “courage” and “common sense.”

Here, for instance, is what one anonymous subject – identified in research documents by the code name “U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic candidate for governor” – had his spokeswoman tell reporters last week: “Congressman Michaud continues to have real concerns about the impact of legalization on children and young adults. The congressman and his staff have had a number of meetings with advocates, and he continues to evaluate information on legalization.”

Another person interviewed for this study – code named “Eliot Cutler, Independent gubernatorial candidate” – gave newspapers this

Article source: http://post.mainelymediallc.com/news/2014-01-31/Columns/

Group targets Lewiston for next vote to legalize marijuana

January 31st, 2014

AUGUSTA — The Marijuana Policy Project will launch new efforts to legalize recreational marijuana use this fall in Lewiston, South Portland and York, a move that leaders in two of those cities said caught them to some degree off guard.

While South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins said he has suspected since election night in November 2013 that his city could be the next battleground in the legalization debate, officials in York and Lewiston said Tuesday that they were surprised by the news.

David Boyer, Maine’s political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, said Tuesday that his organization will attempt to put a marijuana legalization question on ballots in all three municipalities through local citizen petitions. He said the question his group hopes to put to voters will be similar to a local ordinance passed in Portland last November that legalizes possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by adults.

“Our point really is to keep the discussion going and to show that this wasn’t something just unique to Portland,” said Boyer. “We think that Mainers across the state believe that adults shouldn’t be punished for marijuana possession.”

Boyer said seeking legalization in York, South Portland and Lewiston is an effort to further gauge Mainers’ attitude toward lifting legal prohibitions against marijuana use and to force debate of the issue in this year’s gubernatorial and legislative election campaigns.

Boyer said he expects another attempt to legalize marijuana statewide in the Legislature next year — a tax-and-regulate measure failed last year — and if

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/node/1481886

Medical marijuana might be Lincoln Lakes region’s next growth industry …

January 30th, 2014

LINCOLN, Maine — Maine needs more legal marijuana growers, Paul McCarrier says, and that’s why his organization will offer the Lincoln Lakes region’s 200 recently laid-off millworkers a chance to learn the job for free.

Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine estimates that despite the state having about 1,300 licensed growers, the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of maladies doctors treat with marijuana greatly increases an already pronounced need for growers, said McCarrier, the organization’s legislative liaison.

“Right now there is definitely a need for caregivers to support patients,” McCarrier said Thursday. “It is kind of tough to give any numbers regarding the kind of concrete need there is because there is no mandatory patient registration, but we still get requests.”

Estimates have placed the number of unregistered but legal patients and registered patients at about 13,000. Growers typically make $30,000 to $50,000 annually, according to McCarrier. Many of the patient requests for marijuana come from rural Penobscot, Washington and Aroostook counties, McCarrier said.

“We easily have had over a dozen in the past month alone,” he said.

Normally, the caregivers group charges $30 for its classes, but the informational session in Lincoln will be free to millworkers, with priority given to area residents, officials said. The session will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, at Lakeside Art Gallery, 9 Main St.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services issued 1,311 caregiver cards to treat 1,455 voluntarily registered patients in calendar year 2012, a

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/30/business/medical-marijuana-might-be-lincoln-lakes-regions-next-growth-industry-proponent-says/

Don’t dare

January 30th, 2014

Supporters of legalized marijuana have a serious medical problem they need to address. There’s now scientific evidence that the mere mention of repealing laws against possession and use of pot makes Maine politicians go squishy in the head. In tests conducted by a team of researchers (please note: The preceding phrase is subject to credibility issues with regard to the terms “tests,” “conducted,” and “team of researchers”), normal people, when asked if they favored repealing laws making the drug illegal, all had answers beginning with words like “yes” and “no.” Mostly “yes.” In other words, nearly everyone knows where they stand on that issue, and a clear majority supports ending the war on weed.

Note that I wrote “nearly.” That’s because there’s a small group, primarily composed of what scientists classify as “wimps,” who are incapable of admitting how they feel about unfettering the kind bud from its statutory limitations. Investigators believe this is because they lack two glandular factors called “courage” and “common sense.”

Here, for instance, is what one anonymous subject — identified in research documents by the code name “U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic candidate for governor” — had his spokeswoman tell reporters last week: “Congressman Michaud continues to have real concerns about the impact of legalization on children and young adults. The congressman and his staff have had a number of meetings with advocates, and he continues to evaluate information on legalization.”

Another person interviewed for this study — code named “Eliot Cutler, independent gubernatorial

Article source: http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/157269-dont-dare/

Push to legalize marijuana likely in more Maine communities

January 30th, 2014

January 21

After a successful campaign in Portland, a national group will try to put the issue to voters in Lewiston, South Portland and York.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON — The battle over marijuana legalization could be coming to three more Maine communities this November.

A national organization that helped successfully campaign for legalization of recreational pot use in Portland last year plans to target Lewiston, South Portland and York this fall as it lays the groundwork for a statewide legalization campaign in 2016.

The Marijuana Policy Project plans to conduct petition drives to put the question to voters in the three communities in an effort to keep the legalization debate moving in Maine. The efforts could benefit from the higher voter turnout likely in an election for governor.

The group has not yet started the petition drives.

“We definitely want it to be an election issue,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, told the Portland Press Herald on Monday. “We think voters should know where gubernatorial candidates stand on this issue, particularly because one of them is going to be governor in 2016 when it does pass (statewide).”

This coincides with a clear shift in attitude toward pot use among the public and politicians, including those in the White House.

In an interview published in The New Yorker this week, President Obama described marijuana use as “a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/Push_to_legalize_marijuana_likely_in_more_Maine_communities_.html?pagenum=full

Cumberland weighs zoning change for medical marijuana dispensaries

January 29th, 2014

CUMBERLAND, Maine — The Cumberland Town Council on Monday scheduled a public hearing for Monday, Feb. 10, on whether to allow registered medical marijuana dispensaries in part of the town.

The discussion, of amending the town code to allow dispensaries as a permitted use in the Office Commercial North district, follows a Jan. 21 recommendation to do so by the Planning Board.

The OC-N zone comprises U.S. Route 1 from the Tuttle Road ramp north to the Yarmouth town line.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed in Maine since 2009, and Cumberland is trying to anticipate their establishment by designating one area for that use.

“What we don’t want to do is basically have to react to an application,” Town Manager Bill Shane said Jan. 17. “And when we react to an application, we usually end up putting a moratorium in place, and giving six to 12 months to talk about it. It just is very distracting when you’re trying to run a town [and] trying to grow a town.”

The town is therefore pursuing a more proactive approach by designating an area for the use, Shane explained.

Although the Town Council had been scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday on proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan, the panel opted to table the matter to allow for more discussion and feedback from residents.

A workshop on the amendments will be held Monday, Feb. 3.

 

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/29/news/portland/cumberland-weighs-zoning-change-for-medical-marijuana-dispensaries/

Maine Lawmakers Consider Workplace Drug-Testing Bill

January 28th, 2014

At his family-owned box factory in Biddeford, Derek Volk says employees have surprised him over the years when confronted about whether or not they’re using drugs on the job. In fact, he says he’s pretty much heard it all.

“Like the employee who showed up for work late repeatedly and then was fired, only to sue us because we were not making accommodations for his marijuana addiction,” Volk said. “Or the employee who was rumored to be eating her oatmeal at lunch mixed in with her meth. Or the employee, who after confronted about coming back from lunch high, said to my supervisor, ‘Well, I may have been stoned this morning and I ran the machine fine.”

Volk told members of the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee that a bill crafted by the LePage administration will prompt a lot more companies to consider adopting random drug-testing policies at their businesses.

For one thing, LD 1669 would remove the current provision that requires employers to maintain an employee assistance program and pay for half the costs of drug treatment. The bill would also make it easier for employers to identify potential drug abuse by creating a probable standard for testing that could be triggered by a single accident within the workplace.

State Sen. Andre Cushing, who sponsored the bill on the behalf of the state Department of Labor, says that suggestion is not necessarily carved in stone.

“Well some of these things are yet to be

Article source: http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/5347/ItemId/31961/Default.aspx

POLITICS & OTHER MISTAKES: Don’t dare

January 28th, 2014

Supporters of legalized marijuana have a serious medical problem they need to address. There’s now scientific evidence that the mere mention of repealing laws against possession and use of pot makes Maine politicians go squishy in the head.

In tests conducted by a team of researchers (please note: The preceding phrase is subject to credibility issues with regard to the terms “tests,” “conducted” and “team of researchers”), normal people, when asked if they favored repealing laws making the drug illegal, all had answers beginning with words like “yes” and “no.” Mostly “yes.” In other words, nearly everyone knows where they stand on that issue, and a clear majority supports ending the war on weed.

Note that I wrote “nearly.” That’s because there’s a small group, primarily composed of what scientists classify as “wimps,” who are incapable of admitting how they feel about unfettering the kind bud from its statutory limitations. Investigators believe this is because they lack two glandular factors called “courage” and “common sense.”

Here, for instance, is what one anonymous subject – identified in research documents by the code name “U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic candidate for governor” – had his spokeswoman tell reporters last week: “Congressman Michaud continues to have real concerns about the impact of legalization on children and young adults. The congressman and his staff have had a number of meetings with advocates, and he continues to evaluate information on legalization.”

Another person interviewed for this study – code named “Eliot Cutler, independent gubernatorial candidate” – gave newspapers this

Article source: http://www.keepmecurrent.com/american_journal/opinion/columns/politics-other-mistakes-don-t-dare/article_f3b80768-8835-11e3-bbeb-0019bb2963f4.html

Push to legalize marijuana likely in more Maine communities

January 26th, 2014

January 21

After a successful campaign in Portland, a national group will try to put the issue to voters in Lewiston, South Portland and York.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON — The battle over marijuana legalization could be coming to three more Maine communities this November.

A national organization that helped successfully campaign for legalization of recreational pot use in Portland last year plans to target Lewiston, South Portland and York this fall as it lays the groundwork for a statewide legalization campaign in 2016.

The Marijuana Policy Project plans to conduct petition drives to put the question to voters in the three communities in an effort to keep the legalization debate moving in Maine. The efforts could benefit from the higher voter turnout likely in an election for governor.

The group has not yet started the petition drives.

“We definitely want it to be an election issue,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, told the Portland Press Herald on Monday. “We think voters should know where gubernatorial candidates stand on this issue, particularly because one of them is going to be governor in 2016 when it does pass (statewide).”

This coincides with a clear shift in attitude toward pot use among the public and politicians, including those in the White House.

In an interview published in The New Yorker this week, President Obama described marijuana use as “a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Push_to_legalize_marijuana_likely_in_more_Maine_communities_.html?pagenum=full

Reports: Maine real estate market brightening

January 24th, 2014

While the national and regional economies are showing modest signs of growth, real estate industry watchers at the annual Maine Real Estate Development Association forecasting conference said they are seeing bright spots in key markets, particularly in the southern part of the state.

Across a day of forecasts, here’s what analysts had to say about key areas of activity in Maine’s real estate market in 2014.

Multi-family homes

Multi-family sales in southern Maine continued a strong rise in key markets like Portland and Saco/Biddeford over the past year, while Lewiston-Auburn saw flats sales volume, transactions and median prices, according to Brit Vitalius, principal at Vitalius Real Estate Group in Portland and president of the Southern Maine Landlord Association.

Sales volume for multi-family units rose 8% from 2012 to 2013 in Portland, 14% in South Portland, 20% in Saco/Biddeford and were flat in Lewiston-Auburn. The median price rose by the same percentages in each of those areas. In Portland, three-unit commercial buildings were in high demand, with the average price rising 18% over 2012. Notably, South Portland saw a 40% rise in the number of transactions. “South Portland had an incredible year,” he said, noting that Westbrook also was up a strong 28% in transactions.

Half of the properties that sold in Portland went under contract from March to May. “In the spring it felt like there was a mini bubble,” he said.

Notably, 2-4-unit sales saw a rebound. “For the first time in a bunch of years we’re finally getting back some of the

Article source: http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20140124/NEWS0101/140129968