Archive for January, 2018

Arundel voters say no to pot sales

January 22nd, 2018

ARUNDEL — At a special town meeting Jan. 8, voters in Arundel stepped in where the town planning board had refused to act, to specifically allow doggy day cares to operate in town, but also made it harder to set up a retail marijuana shop in town.

The pot change, which passed by a slim two-vote margin, was one of four zoning changes put before voters. In two other votes, residents approved changes to the structure of application fee for site plan review applications to the planning board, and rejected amendments to how the town regulates landscaping of new developments.

Nearly 45 people attended the meeting, held at the Mildred L. Day School, just prior to that evening’s regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting.

The doggy day care vote was the result of a citizens’ petition signed by 200 registered voters, filed by Limerick Road Kristin Woodward after she ran into roadblocks getting her project past the planning board.

Woodward circulated her petition following a Sept. 14 pre-application meeting with the planning board, at which she hoped to gain final approval for a pet day care center, to be called Rontu’s Run Dog Daycare, next to her existing riding stable at 496 Limerick Road.

“I’ve been trying to get this going now for a year and a half,” Woodward said at an October selectmen’s meeting. “I have been trying to comply with the planning board and they just keep throwing more and more at me, a lot of which seems to be unreasonable. I just feel like

Article source: http://post.mainelymediallc.com/news/2018-01-19/Front_Page/Arundel_voters_say_no_to_pot_sales.html

Retail pot ban headed for town’s voters

January 21st, 2018

KENNEBUNK — Hot on the heels of a Jan. 8 unanimous planning board recommendation that it do so, Kennebunk selectmen have followed through by agreeing to pass on to voters a proposal to ban all commercial marijuana operations from town.

The ordinance, which would not affect medical marijuana or the right of residents to grow, posses, or use the drug in their own homes, would apply to all cultivation, testing, manufacture, and offering of the product for retail sale. Also out would be so-called marijuana social clubs, where people could consume the drug, which was legalized in a November 2016 statewide referendum, although it remains a controlled substance under federal law. The 2016 vote lets Mainers possess up to six mature marijuana plants and 2.5 ounces of the processed drug ready to consume.

However, even absent a local ban, the substance is not yet ready for prime time, given continued wrangling of state lawmakers over how best to regulate the drug for retail sale. Based on the federal ban, Gov. Paul LePage remains opposed to state licensing of all retail marijuana operations. To date, the legislature has proven unable to craft a veto-proof framework for the requisite regulatory structure.

That means pot shops will not open anytime soon, but most selectmen are hoping voters will amend that possibility to something closer to never. The board voted 6-1 Jan. 9 to pass the language for banning commercial marijuana operations on to voters.

In the one change from the plan of attack signaled when selectmen

Article source: http://post.mainelymediallc.com/news/2018-01-19/Front_Page/Retail_pot_ban_headed_for_towns_voters.html

Two marijuana caregivers sue Maine agency in effort to block new …

January 20th, 2018

The owners of a Belfast medical marijuana shop are going to federal court in an attempt to stop Maine from implementing new medical marijuana regulations next month.

Caregivers Justin Olsen and Nancy Shaw of New World Organics say the rules violate patient privacy and force caregivers to divulge confidential patient information to the state.

The caregivers and two of their unnamed patients – an injured combat veteran and a woman undergoing cancer treatment – filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Shaw said on Facebook.

In Maine, patients with a qualifying medical condition can use medical cannabis with a doctor’s approval. They get a card from the doctor, but they don’t have to register with the state.

The new rules allow the state Department of Health and Human Services to conduct same-day inspections of caregiver operations and inspect a patient’s house with a day’s notice.

Olson and Shaw believe the warrantless search of a caregiver’s grow, which is often located on their personal property, or a patient’s house is an unconstitutional search and seizure.

The plaintiffs say the state would learn of their patients’ identities during inspections, a violation of patient rights under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

“Disclosure of records not only violates the privacy rights of the qualifying patients, it also subjects caregivers who disclose the records … to a civil fine of up to $50,000,” the suit says.

The suit asks the court to stop DHHS, the agency that

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/19/two-pot-caregivers-sue-maine-agency-in-effort-to-block-new-regulations/

Maine Voices: Candidate in 2008 got ahead of wave of public opinion on pot

January 20th, 2018

FARMINGTON — I am taking a Sacramento Bee column published in the Jan. 11 Press Herald as a signal to dredge up a bit of neglected history. The column, by the dean of the law school at Berkeley, mocks Attorney General Jeff Sessions for lagging behind public opinion on marijuana prohibition. With all the modesty for which I am widely admired, I write to point out that I was in touch with public opinion and ahead of politician opinion in 2008.

During my appearance on a Bangor talk show as the Republican candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, a man called in to ask my stand on legalizing the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. I judged from his demanding tone that he was on a mission to expose me as a reactionary persecutor of inoffensive weed-heads. He seemed surprised, maybe disappointed, when I endorsed legalization.


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Legalization had not been an important issue for me, but I remembered a 1996 symposium in the conservative National Review. The four participants had all fought in the war on drugs. All had come to the reluctant conclusion that their efforts had been fruitless. In 2008, a high-ranking Mexican police official had written about his tactics in the war, and bemoaned their uselessness. The economist Milton Friedman had long ago pointed out that suppressing production of marijuana will produce a shortage of the product, which will increase prices for

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/20/maine-voices-candidate-in-2008-got-ahead-of-wave-of-public-opinion-on-pot/

Lawsuit claims University of Southern Maine failed to protect woman from sexual assaults

January 20th, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine — An Orono woman has filed a civil lawsuit against the University of Southern Maine, University of Maine System and two former students claiming the college failed to protect her from sexual assaults allegedly committed by the two men, one a USM student, on the Gorham campus in January 2012.

According to the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, a male USM student allegedly sexually assaulted the plaintiff on Jan. 19, 2012, after he attended a gathering at her dormitory.

The complaint alleges the male student gave her what she believed was marijuana, after which she “became extremely loopy and ha[d] some hallucinations.”

She alleges the student then sexually assaulted her, and that she did not consent, “nor was she in any condition to do so,” the complaint states.

Ten days later, she was allegedly sexually assaulted again by a different man, this time in the bathroom of her dormitory — a different dorm from where the first assault allegedly occurred.

The suit alleges that the man, who was not a USM student but who was known to the plaintiff, told the plaintiff on Jan. 29, 2012, that he would visit her later in the day, and that he arrived, found her in the shower and sexually assaulted her despite her objections.

She allegedly visited Maine Medical Center after both incidents and reported them both to the Gorham Police Department.

No charges were filed

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/01/20/news/portland/lawsuit-claims-university-of-southern-maine-failed-to-protect-woman-from-sexual-assaults/

Marijuana Legalization Committee Votes to Extend Ban on Recreational Sales to Mid-April

January 19th, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) Legislation to extend the moratorium on Maine’s commercial cannabis market was unanimously voted out of committee Friday.

The bill now heads to the House and Senate for further action.

The ban on recreational marijuana sales expires on February 1st, leaving little time for lawmakers to extend it or pass the lengthy legislation regulating the market.

“By extending this moratorium, you continue to leave us without safety, without labeling and advertising protections. This means that untested product is in the ‘commercial market.’ It’s the unregulated ‘commercial market,'” said Heather Sullivan.

Sullivan works for Canuvo, York County’s only licensed medical dispensary. She argued to the state’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee the illicit market continues to thrive during the ban while those following the rules in the medical cannabis market are losing business to illegal delivery services and the like.

“The problem with our current situation is that the illicit marketplace looks at Maine kids as customers. I’ll be supporting today’s clean measure to extend this for a couple of months, but really we need to be speaking truth to power. And the truth is we are in the Wild West,” said Rep. Kent Ackley, (C) Monmouth.

The Maine Municipal Association supports the moratorium extension to avoid legal issues between towns and residents seeking commercial licenses.

“If the statewide moratorium on commercial licenses expires on the date currently in statute, less than two weeks away on February 1st, municipalities are likely to be faced with a flood

Article source: http://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Marijuana-Legalization-Committee-Votes-to-Extend-Ban-on-Recreational-Sales-to-Mid-April-470178143.html

South Portland Police beat Jan. 19

January 19th, 2018
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Arrests 

12/31 at 3:37 a.m. Xavier Diaz, 26, of South Portland, was arrested on Westbrook Street by Officer Jacob LaChance on a warrant. 

1/1 at 1:50 a.m. Michael S. Gallagher, 21, of York, was arrested on Maine Mall Road by Officer Ezekiel Collins on charges of domestic violence assault, criminal mischief and violating conditions of release. 

Summonses

12/30 at 1:26 p.m. Alfred Lueder, 37, of Portland, was issued a summons on Broadway by Officer Rocco Navarro on a charge of failure to register vehicle. 

12/30 at 11:37 p.m. Christopher Buchanan, 35, of South Portland, was issued a summons on Broadway by Officer Chris Gosling on a charge of failing to notify of a motor vehicle accident. 

12/31 at 12:59 p.m. a 14-year-old girl, of Buxton, was issued a summons on Maine Mall Road by Officer Peter Corbett on a charge of theft for unauthorized taking. 

12/31 at 12:59 p.m. a 14-year-old girl, of Gorham, was issued a summons on Maine Mall Road by Officer Peter Corbett on a charge of theft for unauthorized taking. 

1/1 at 9:37 a.m. Kay Hanson, 22, of Whitefield, was summonsed on Broadway by Officer Rocco Navarro on a charge of operating after registration. 

1/1 at 4:47 p.m. David Blanchette, 44, of South Portland, was issued a summons on Broadway by Officer Kim Theriault on a charge of failing to notify of a motor vehicle accident. 

1/1 at 5:59 p.m. Deborah Frothingham, 36, no address listed, was issued a summons on Sawyer Brook Circle by

Article source: http://www.theforecaster.net/south-portland-police-beat-jan-19/

Two marijuana caregivers sue Maine agency in effort to block new regulations

January 19th, 2018

The owners of a Belfast medical marijuana shop are going to federal court in an attempt to stop Maine from implementing new medical marijuana regulations next month.

Caregivers Justin Olsen and Nancy Shaw of New World Organics say the rules violate patient privacy and force caregivers to divulge confidential patient information to the state.

The caregivers and two of their unnamed patients – an injured combat veteran and a woman undergoing cancer treatment – filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Shaw said on Facebook.

In Maine, patients with a qualifying medical condition can use medical cannabis with a doctor’s approval. They get a card from the doctor, but they don’t have to register with the state.

The new rules allow the state Department of Health and Human Services to conduct same-day inspections of caregiver operations and inspect a patient’s house with a day’s notice.

Olson and Shaw believe the warrantless search of a caregiver’s grow, which is often located on their personal property, or a patient’s house is an unconstitutional search and seizure.

The plaintiffs say the state would learn of their patients’ identities during inspections, a violation of patient rights under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

“Disclosure of records not only violates the privacy rights of the qualifying patients, it also subjects caregivers who disclose the records … to a civil fine of up to $50,000,” the suit says.

The suit asks the court to stop DHHS, the agency that

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/19/two-pot-caregivers-sue-maine-agency-in-effort-to-block-new-regulations/

Suit aims to protect Maine medical pot patients, growers from new …

January 19th, 2018
Micky Bedell | BDN

A lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Bangor seeks to postpone or limit implementation of new rules governing the use of medical marijuana, claiming they violate the Constitution and patient privacy laws.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, names Commissioner Ricker Hamilton in its complaint against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Plaintiffs include state-licensed growers Justin Olsen and Nancy Shaw, who own the New World Organics medical marijuana storefront in Belfast. In addition, two anonymous plaintiffs are identified as medical marijuana patients.

The complaint asks that certain provisions set to take effect Feb. 1 be declared unlawful, including the procedural process by which the rules were drafted and adopted. In addition, the lawsuit claims some provisions violate constitutional protections and the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, by failing to protect patient privacy.

“The most important issue here is the confidentiality of medical records of patients who use medical marijuana,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, John Markham of Waldoboro and Boston, said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The new rules allow DHHS agents to enter a marijuana dispensary or growing operation without notice or cause and have unrestricted access to documents and records, he said.

Medical marijuana users who legally grow their own supply at home also are at risk for

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/01/18/health/suit-aims-to-protect-maine-medical-pot-patients-growers-from-new-regulations/

Judge excludes drug test on Maine fishing boat captain facing manslaughter charges

January 18th, 2018

A federal judge has restricted the federal government’s ability to use results of a blood test taken from a Cushing fishing boat captain accused of causing the deaths of two crew members when his lobster boat sank during a November 2014 gale.

U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby issued his ruling Wednesday in the case of 29-year-old Christopher A. Hutchinson, who is charged with two counts of seaman’s manslaughter for the deaths of Tom Hammond, 27, of Rockland, and 15-year-old Tyler Sawyer, who lived in St. George and Waldoboro. They were crew members aboard Hutchinson’s lobster boat, No Limits, which sank on Nov. 1, 2014.

CHRISTOPHER HUTCHINSON

The judge ruled that Coast Guard regulations do not compel a seaman to submit to a blood test. Hornby also ruled that Hutchinson did not give consent voluntarily.

The investigators also failed to get a warrant to obtain a blood sample from Hutchinson and there were no exigent circumstances requiring the test before a warrant was obtained. The government also did not have probable cause to take the sample, Hornby ruled.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office can only use the results of the blood test at the upcoming trial if Hutchinson testifies that he did not use any drugs.

Hutchinson’s attorney, Michael Turndorf of Portland, had asked for the blood test to be suppressed at trial, arguing that it was done without a warrant or probable cause. Hearings on the suppression motion were held on Dec. 18 and Dec.

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/18/federal-judge-excludes-drug-test-on-fishing-boat-captain-facing-manslaughter-charges/