Archive for April, 2017

State rep: Recreational pot ‘a real opportunity for Maine’

April 30th, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine — Arguably one of the hottest tickets in Augusta this session is entry to the legislative committee rolling out Maine’s recreational marijuana law.

The group has one eye on signals coming from Washington about enforcement of the federal ban on pot, another on the intersection with the state’s longstanding medical marijuana law, and is also looking at states like Washington and Colorado that have already blazed the path.

And taking a front row seat for this is state Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York, who was selected in January to be on the Legislature’s Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. The committee is charged with creating the rules and regulations governing the new marijuana law, passed by voters last November.

While personal possession of marijuana became legal for adults in January, implementation of commercial sales was postponed until February 2018, giving the committee a year to delve into issues such as law enforcement, licensing, regulation of cannabis products and sales tax collection.

Blume said the committee’s work is pivotal toward creating a framework for a new industry that she feels has great potential. “I think it’s a real opportunity for Maine that I would like to see done properly to protect kids and at the same time create jobs of Mainers.”

She said she sought to join the committee because she thought it was important to have someone represent southern York County.

“We’re a so-called border area to New Hampshire, which doesn’t have legal recreational marijuana. People are going to come

Article source: http://www.fosters.com/news/20170430/state-rep-recreational-pot-a-real-opportunity-for-maine

State rep: Recreational pot ‘a real opportunity for Maine’

April 30th, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine — Arguably one of the hottest tickets in Augusta this session is entry to the legislative committee rolling out Maine’s recreational marijuana law.

The group has one eye on signals coming from Washington about enforcement of the federal ban on pot, another on the intersection with the state’s longstanding medical marijuana law, and is also looking at states like Washington and Colorado that have already blazed the path.

And taking a front row seat for this is state Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York, who was selected in January to be on the Legislature’s Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. The committee is charged with creating the rules and regulations governing the new marijuana law, passed by voters last November.

While personal possession of marijuana became legal for adults in January, implementation of commercial sales was postponed until February 2018, giving the committee a year to delve into issues such as law enforcement, licensing, regulation of cannabis products and sales tax collection.

Blume said the committee’s work is pivotal toward creating a framework for a new industry that she feels has great potential. “I think it’s a real opportunity for Maine that I would like to see done properly to protect kids and at the same time create jobs of Mainers.”

She said she sought to join the committee because she thought it was important to have someone represent southern York County.

“We’re a so-called border area to New Hampshire, which doesn’t have legal recreational marijuana. People

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170430/state-rep-recreational-pot-a-real-opportunity-for-maine

Man convicted of manslaughter gets three days for violating probation – Courier

April 29th, 2017

Spruce Head — A 22-year-old Spruce Head man who served time in jail for causing a 2014 car crash that killed one woman and left another with life-altering injuries was sentenced Thursday to three days in jail for his second probation violation since being released.

Samuel Simmons was sentenced April 27 in Knox County Unified Court in Rockland to three days for possessing a deer that had been hunted illegally. The hunting incident occurred Nov. 11 in Owls Head. He will begin serving the three-day jail sentence on May 4.

Simmons was also fined $1,000.

Simmons was sentenced in January 2016 to 12 years in prison with all but nine months suspended for manslaughter and driving to endanger. He also was ordered to serve probation for four years after he got out of jail.

Upon his release from jail, he was found to be in violation of his probation in August 2016 for drinking.

Simmons was driving north on Route 1 in Warren on the morning of March 20, 2014, when his pickup truck crossed the centerline near the intersection of Western Road and struck head-on an oncoming 2003 car driven by Alison Low of Warren.

Low, 38, died at the scene. Her 18-year-old son, Dustin Kimball of Warren, was seriously injured but recovered. Kimball’s girlfriend, Olivia Blachet, was severely injured and spent more than five months at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Simmons admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana the night before.

Article source: http://knox.villagesoup.com/p/man-convicted-of-manslaughter-gets-three-days-for-violating-probation/1647914

Herbig, Jackson present alternative state budget at packed town hall

April 28th, 2017

Belfast — It was standing room only in the Hutchinson Center auditorium Wednesday night while Democrats presented a budget proposal they are calling “the largest property tax cut in Maine history.”

This was one of a series of town halls being held across the state to spread the word about Democrats’ proposed alternative to the governor’s budget. Locally, another town hall is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3, at Watts Hall in Thomaston.

House Majority Leader Rep. Erin Herbig of Belfast and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash outlined to a crowd of 130 attendees April 26 their party’s plan to get more money back to town governments and public schools, in order to lessen the amount municipalities would have to raise through property taxes.

Herbig summed up four key priorities of the “Opportunity Agenda,” of which property tax relief is “first and foremost.”

“This is something we hear in Waldo, we hear in Aroostook, and we hear in York: that people are being crushed by property taxes,” she said, “and that is something we take very seriously.”

Herbig said the proposal also supports economic growth and job growth; pre-K through college education; and Maine families (by supporting the elderly, people with disabilities, and veterans, and by expanding prevention and treatment to address the opiate crisis).

EThe Democrats’ proposed expenditures would be paid for with projected surplus revenue, listed in the plan as $181 million based on figures from the Revenue Forecasting Committee, a tax on online revenue from such sites as Amazon and Airbnb,

Article source: http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/herbig-jackson-present-alternative-state-budget-at-packed-town-hall/1647107

A dozen opioid bills up for discussion in Augusta – WCSH

April 28th, 2017

Article source: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/a-dozen-opioid-bills-up-for-discussion-in-augusta/434818780

Authorities say Fire in Lewiston Started in Marijuana Growing Room UPDATED

April 28th, 2017

Authorities say Fire in Lewiston Started in Marijuana Growing Room

A fire that destroyed an apartment building in Lewiston yesterday morning started in a marijuana growing room, according to fire investigators.

The fire was reported at a three-unit building on Vale street at 9 am.

The grow room was legal, the tenant has a medical marijuana card.

The American Red Cross is helping three families who lived there.

“And you can just imagine in a moments notice living in your home and having to evacuate it in a moments notice and lose everything in just like the blink of an eye without warning so it’s devastating not only for the professionals who are on scene fighting the fire helping the clients but it’s incredibly emotional for the clients who suffered loss” Says Eric Lynes of the American Red Cross.

One of the tenants lost all of his belongings in a fire two years ago.

Article source: https://wabi.tv/2017/04/26/authorities-say-fire-in-lewiston-started-in-marijuana-growing-room/

Authorities say Fire in Lewiston Started in Marijuana Growing Room

April 27th, 2017

Authorities say Fire in Lewiston Started in Marijuana Growing Room

A fire that destroyed an apartment building in Lewiston yesterday morning started in a marijuana growing room, according to fire investigators.

The fire was reported at a three-unit building on Vale street at 9 am.

The grow room was legal, the tenant has a medical marijuana card.

The American Red Cross is helping three families who lived there.

“And you can just imagine in a moments notice living in your home and having to evacuate it in a moments notice and lose everything in just like the blink of an eye without warning so it’s devastating not only for the professionals who are on scene fighting the fire helping the clients but it’s incredibly emotional for the clients who suffered loss” Says Eric Lynes of the American Red Cross.

One of the tenants lost all of his belongings in a fire two years ago.

Article source: https://wabi.tv/2017/04/26/authorities-say-fire-in-lewiston-started-in-marijuana-growing-room/

Boothbay Harbor man suggests rewriting Southport’s ‘dry town’ bylaw

April 26th, 2017

Marijuana caregiver consultant Darrell Gudroe of Boothbay Harbor voiced his concerns to Southport selectmen April 19, over the wording of the bylaw town meeting voters passed last month making Southport a “dry town” regarding retail marijuana.

The bylaw addition reads: “There shall be no commercial sale, retail production, retail establishments or marijuana social clubs within the confines of Southport, Maine. This is no way inhibits the personal use of marijuana as allowed by law.”

Gudroe asked if the rule was also meant to apply to caregivers.

“No, just commercial growing and selling. For anything medical, nothing changes,” Selectman Smith Climo responded.

Gudroe stated it does ban caregivers due to its ambiguity. He offered to draft new wording. According to Gudroe, under current Maine law, a medically licensed caregiver can open up a storefront out of their home, serving five patients at any one time. For each patient, a caregiver is allowed six flowering marijuana plants.

Selectman Gerry Gamage said the board would be more than willing to listen to Gudroe’s recommendations, but “if you have different verbiage, we would need to amend at a town meeting with the voters.”

Climo reiterated that he never wanted a new bylaw to impact the medical aspect of marijuana.

“We didn’t want smoking parlors or a storefront,” Climo said. “In people’s own houses if they want to grow, or smoke, bless them.”

Gudroe offered to draft a proposal and bring it to a future meeting. The selectmen thanked him for coming and voicing his concerns, and said they looked forward to seeing

Article source: http://www.boothbayregister.com/article/boothbay-harbor-man-suggests-rewriting-southport-s-dry-town-bylaw/85303

Lewiston fire started in marijuana growing room, officials say

April 26th, 2017

A fire that destroyed an apartment building in Lewiston Tuesday morning started in a marijuana growing room, investigators said.

The fire was reported at a three-unit building at 3 Vale Street at 9 a.m.

The grow room was legal, according to a Lewiston Fire Department shift commander, as the tenant has a medical marijuana card.

The American Red Cross is helping the three families.

Six people were displaced.

One tenant lost all of his belongings in a fire two years ago.

Article source: http://www.wmtw.com/article/crews-battle-apartment-building-fire-in-lewiston/9557991

Augusta officer fired without warning at knife-wielding patient, judge says

April 26th, 2017

An Augusta police officer only shouted “hey” three times before shooting without warning and injuring a knife-wielding psychiatric patient.

That’s according to a federal judge’s ruling that allows a civil lawsuit alleging an excessive use of force to move forward against the Augusta officer, Laura Drouin, who fired a trio of shots at Riverview Psychiatric Center outpatient Jason Begin during a confrontation in January 2015. Begin had become angry after being told he would be recommitted to the state psychiatric hospital after being allowed to live in a supervised home in the community, and began slicing his arms with a knife during a meeting with an outpatient team.

Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin after he was shot by an Augusta police officer on Jan. 12, 2015, following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center building in Augusta.Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin after he was shot by an Augusta police officer on Jan. 12, 2015, following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center building in Augusta.

The ruling in the case was issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison in U.S. District Court in Bangor, and while it removes the city as a defendant, the claims will move forward against Drouin.

What exactly happened before Drouin fired at Begin will be the focus of the court case. Begin filed the suit against Drouin and the city in February 2016, saying his civil rights were

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/25/federal-lawsuit-to-move-forward-against-augusta-police-officer-who-shot-riverview-outpatient/