Archive for July, 2014

OUR OPINION: Maine towns’ recreational-pot votes should put state on notice

July 31st, 2014

Like it or not, marijuana policy is on the state’s agenda, and lawmakers are likely to have just one more chance to deal with the issue before the voters do it for them.

This summer, pro-pot activists are collecting signatures to put questions on the ballot in South Portland, Lewiston and York, initiatives that would make it legal for adults to possess a small amount of marijuana for recreational purposes. These initiatives are modeled on the Portland referendum that passed by an overwhelming majority last year.

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Press Herald file photo by Gabe Souza  Crash Barry, an Oxford County writer who advocates mainstreaming marijuana, smokes a joint in Portland in 2013. Signatures are being collected to put questions on the ballot in Lewiston, South Portland and York making it legal for adults to possess a small amount of pot for recreational purposes.

This is no coincidence. The Marijuana Policy Project, the same group that put the Portland question up for a vote, is also behind the other initiatives and has a stated goal of putting a statewide question on the ballot in 2016. If the two previous medical-marijuana referendums are any indication, the recreational-marijuana referendum also should be expected to pass, as Mainers and the nation become more libertarian on this issue every year. The resulting law will be based on a one-sided question written by activists and marijuana growers, not on a policy crafted by elected representatives in a rigorous legislative process.

We have always argued that marijuana’s legal

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2014/07/31/our-opinion-maine-towns-recreational-pot-votes-should-put-state-on-notice/

Maine State Police Troop D blotter: traffic stops, marijuana

July 31st, 2014

AUGUSTA — Maine State Police Troop D reported the following activity July 6-27. Troop D is responsible for Maine’s Midcoast, including Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo, and Knox counties, the southern half of Kennebec County and part of northern Cumberland County. The troop also patrols Interstate 295, from Brunswick to Gardiner. The troop’s complement includes a lieutenant, three sergeants, 25 troopers and a secretary. An arrest or summons does not imply guilt.

July 6

Trooper Corey Smith investigated a boat theft on Steven’s Pond in Liberty. It was later located by the owner floating on the pond. The case remains under investigation.

Trooper Smith intervened in a dispute in Swanville.

July 7

Trooper Kyle Pelletier stopped Shawn Lord, 34, on Route 9 in Chelsea for operating a motor vehicle with a loud exhaust. Following investigation he was issued a summons for displaying a fictitious inspection sticker and released.

Trooper Thomas Bureau stopped Laurent J. Poulin, 70, for speeding 82 mph in a 55 mph zone on Route 3 in Belmont. Poulin admitted to consuming four alcoholic drinks over the last hour while driving around. Poulin was ultimately issued summonses for operating under the influence and the speeding violation.

Trooper Seth Allen stopped Kevin Brunelle, 37, in Chelsea for displaying a fictitious inspection sticker. The sticker was consistent with other fictitious stickers that have been found in the area and Brunelle was issued a summons for the offense.

July 8

Trooper Allen stopped Annmarie Stewart, 39, in Randolph for displaying an expired inspection sticker. Marijuana buds allegedly could be seen from the driver’s window

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/maine-state-police-troop-d-blotter-traffic-stops-marijuana/38112

Our View: Maine towns’ recreational-pot votes should put state on notice

July 31st, 2014

Like it or not, marijuana policy is on the state’s agenda, and lawmakers are likely to have just one more chance to deal with it before the voters do it for them.

This summer, pro-pot activists are collecting signatures to put questions on the ballot in South Portland, Lewiston and York making it legal for adults to possess a small amount of marijuana for recreational purposes. These initiatives are modeled on the Portland initiative that passed by an overwhelming majority last year.

Additional Images

Crash Barry, an Oxford County writer who advocates mainstreaming marijuana, smokes a joint in Portland in 2013. Signatures are being collected to put questions on the ballot in Lewiston, South Portland and York making it legal for adults to possess a small amount of pot for recreational purposes.

This is no coincidence. The Marijuana Policy Project, the same group that put the Portland question up for a vote, is also behind the other initiatives and has a stated goal of putting a statewide question on the ballot in 2016. If the two previous medical-marijuana referendums are any indication, the recreational-marijuana referendum should also be expected to pass, as Mainers and the nation become more libertarian on this issue every year. The resulting law will be based on a one-sided question written by activists and marijuana growers, not on a policy crafted by elected representatives in a rigorous legislative process.

We have always argued that marijuana’s legal status should be dealt with on the federal level first. Marijuana is

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/31/our-view-maine-towns-recreational-pot-votes-should-put-state-on-notice/

York selectmen’s decision marks first significant setback in organization’s …

July 30th, 2014

YORK, Maine — A divided York board of selectmen Monday night refused to place an ordinance that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana on the town’s November ballot.

The selectmen’s decision against putting the measure to a town-wide vote represents the first significant setback in an ongoing, statewide effort by the Marijuana Policy Project to ultimately legalize pot.

The organization and its supporters successfully campaigned for a legalization ordinance in the state’s largest city of Portland last fall and claimed summertime victories by gathering enough petition signatures to place similar ordinances on the York and South Portland ballots.

But at the Monday night meeting, Chairwoman Mary Andrews joined fellow York selectmen Jonathan Speers and Robert Palmer Jr. in voting against placing the legalization on the town’s November ballot, despite the number of signatures collected.

Speers said the town charter only requires the selectmen to honor petitions seeking enactment of “any lawful ordinance” and argued the pot proposal doesn’t qualify because recreational marijuana use remains against state and federal laws.

“You are asking me to break a law when I swore to uphold all state, federal and local laws,” Andrews said.

Selectmen Robert Nowell and Torbert MacDonald voted to place the ordinance on the ballot in what was a 3-2 vote against the move.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which gathered the requisite 100 signatures to bring the proposal to the selectmen, reportedly can override the selectmen’s refusal and put the ordinance on the ballot without their approval by collecting 631 signatures.

David Boyer, Maine political director of

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2014/07/29/news/portland/york-selectmens-decision-marks-first-significant-setback-in-organizations-statewide-effort-to-legalize-marijuana/

Maine police seek New York man in Biddeford double homicide

July 29th, 2014

Two men shot to death at a Biddeford apartment building two weeks ago were armed with a pellet gun and a rubber mallet and were there to rob a drug dealer, Maine State Police said Friday.

The man who police believe shot them may have been justified in using deadly force, but he wasn’t supposed to have a gun in the first place, police said.

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Fuquan Prince Wilson

Fuquan Prince Wilson, 34, of Bronx, New York, who goes by the street name “P,” has a lengthy criminal record, including a felony drug conviction that bars him from possessing a gun, state police said. He is wanted on a warrant charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison upon conviction, but it could also lead to federal charges, which tend to have stiffer sentences.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Wilson last Saturday but kept it secret. The Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes homicides in Maine, unsealed the arrest warrant and affidavit Friday because Wilson knows police are looking to arrest him, state police said. Investigators believe he fled Maine after the shooting and they are working with authorities in other states to apprehend him.

Wilson is considered armed and dangerous, Lt. Brian McDonough, head of the major crimes unit for the state police in southern Maine, said during a news conference Friday at the state police barracks in Gray.

Wilson shot and killed Russell Lavoie, 42, of

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/18/maine-police-seek-new-york-man-in-biddeford-double-slaying/

York selectmen reject legal marijuana petition

July 29th, 2014

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YORK, Maine — The York Board of Selectmen on Monday in a 3-2 vote declined to

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140729-NEWS-407290372

Petition to legalize marijuana in York fails to make ballot

July 29th, 2014

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YORK, Maine — The York Board of Selectmen on Monday in a 3-2 vote declined to

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140729-NEWS-407290372

‘This is medicine’: Maine nurse practitioners can recommend marijuana starting …

July 28th, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine — Nurse practitioners in Maine can legally certify patients to use medical cannabis beginning Friday.

Nurse practitioners will join physicians as medical professionals who can legally recommend marijuana to patients suffering from qualifying conditions approved by state government, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest medical marijuana dispensary group, is hosting informational sessions so medical professionals know the ins and outs of medicinal marijuana treatment, science and regulation.

“We feel it’s very important to provide education like this,” said Catherine Cobb, a member of the group’s board of directors and a former Department of Health and Human Services official who oversaw Maine’s medical marijuana program. “We’ve been working for the last few months to try to put on more sessions so that the information is out there, and we get rid of some of the stigma attached to people who use marijuana for medical reasons.”

Becky DeKeuster, director of community and education at Wellness Connection of Maine, said negative stereotypes have been attached to marijuana because of the psychoactive effects.

Those effects, caused by the compound THC, became more visible when marijuana was banned nationwide even for medicinal use, she said.

“During prohibition, marijuana was used only recreationally, so there was this drive among growers to breed plants with higher THC levels,” DeKeuster said. “Now we have professionals working to breed plants where other compounds are prominent.”

While THC is the most commonly known compound, hundreds of other compounds

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2014/07/28/news/portland/this-is-medicine-maine-nurse-practitioners-can-recommend-marijuana-on-aug-1/?ref=moreInportland

‘We are getting stronger’

July 27th, 2014

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An economic, political and cultural renaissance is underway throughout Indian Country in the United States.

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It’s been going on for nearly a quarter-century. Whereas in the 1980s, economic growth on Indian reservations lagged far behind the rate of the U.S. economy, through the booming 1990s and the stagnant 2000s, per capita income growth on Indian reservations outstripped the U.S. as a whole fivefold.

While U.S. poverty rates held steady (at 10 percent), in Indian Country they fell from 48 percent to 32 percent between 1990 and 2010. As U.S. unemployment increased from 8 percent to 10 percent, Indian unemployment fell from 26 percent to 19 percent over the same period. Incomes and life expectancy are still far below the U.S. average, but the gap is closing fast.

“The economic growth has been so rapid, and it has applied to both tribes with and without casinos,” says Joseph P. Kalt of the Harvard University Project on American Indian Economic Development, which compiled the data. “There’s a renaissance going on across Indian America and it’s not about casinos.”

The reason it’s happening, Kalt says, is the greatly increased control Indians have over their own affairs, including economic development efforts and the management of federally funded programs. “For a hundred years, the tribes were fundamentally being run by Washington, D.C.,

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2014/07/26/we-are-getting-stronger/

‘We are getting stronger’

July 27th, 2014

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A Passamaquoddy elder rests his hands on an oar while working near Long Lake in Indian Township this spring. The people on the tribe’s two eastern Maine reservations have spent decades fighting for their rights while struggling to preserve their collective identity.

A Passamaquoddy elder rests his hands on an oar while working at his camp on Long Lake in Indian Township this spring. The people on the tribe’s two eastern Maine reservations have spent decades fighting for their rights while struggling to preserve their collective identity.

Passamaquoddy tribal historian Donald Soctomah walks on the shore of the St. Croix River on the Indian Township reservation in eastern Maine. “We have come a long way in 50 years – quite a long ways, I think,” Soctomah said as he reflected on the progress of his people. “Most of it for the better, some of it not so good.”

Melissa Altvater, left, and her father, Dave Homan, center, listen as tribal elder Allen Sockabasin plays guitar near the water at Pleasant Point in Washington County. Sockabasin is a longtime champion of the Passamaquoddy language, “the key to open the lock of independence for native people.”

Federally subsidized housing like the ones seen in this photograph from last spring now account for a large amount of the homes on Pleasant Point Indian Reservation in Down East Maine

This is a copied photo<p>Article source: <a href=http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/27/we-are-getting-stronger/