Portland mayor decries 4/20 marijuana giveaway – Bangor Daily News

April 23rd, 2017 by admin No comments »

PORTLAND, Maine — The mayor of Portland said he’s disappointed by a free pot giveaway in Monument Square that drew a long line of people and a cloud of smoke.

Under state law and city ordinance, marijuana can’t be used in public, but the crowd enjoyed it anyway, uninterrupted.

“Well, we didn’t have a lot of complaints, but I don’t think we want our police department wasting a lot of resources on this,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said. “The war on drugs has never been successful.”

Strimling said he was disappointed by the event and believes it was irresponsible.

“If someone was out there handing out free shots of alcohol, I think people would have a similar reaction, saying this isn’t what we want to have happening in the middle of the city,” he said.

Crash Barry drew a crowd of about a hundred on Thursday afternoon, when he handed out free marijuana, along with copies of his new book “ Marijuana Valley.” It was a celebration he shared with a variety of people, from bartenders and homeless folks to lawyers and doctors.

“I’m giving everybody a present of a book and one gram of cannabis in celebration of Maine’s first, legal 4/20, which is kind of like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day all rolled together for the cannabis community,” Barry said Thursday.

It’s the first “holiday” since Maine voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November, allowings adults age 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces. Retail sales won’t start until

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/04/23/news/portland/portland-mayor-decries-420-free-marijuana-giveaway/

Portland mayor decries 4/20 free marijuana giveaway — Portland …

April 23rd, 2017 by admin No comments »

PORTLAND, Maine — The mayor of Portland said he’s disappointed by a free pot giveaway in Monument Square that drew a long line of people and a cloud of smoke.

Under state law and city ordinance, marijuana can’t be used in public, but the crowd enjoyed it anyway, uninterrupted.

“Well, we didn’t have a lot of complaints, but I don’t think we want our police department wasting a lot of resources on this,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said. “The war on drugs has never been successful.”

Strimling said he was disappointed by the event and believes it was irresponsible.

“If someone was out there handing out free shots of alcohol, I think people would have a similar reaction, saying this isn’t what we want to have happening in the middle of the city,” he said.

Crash Barry drew a crowd of about a hundred on Thursday afternoon, when he handed out free marijuana, along with copies of his new book “ Marijuana Valley.” It was a celebration he shared with a variety of people, from bartenders and homeless folks to lawyers and doctors.

“I’m giving everybody a present of a book and one gram of cannabis in celebration of Maine’s first, legal 4/20, which is kind of like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day all rolled together for the cannabis community,” Barry said Thursday.

It’s the first “holiday” since Maine voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November, allowings adults age 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces. Retail sales won’t start until

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/04/23/news/portland/portland-mayor-decries-420-free-marijuana-giveaway/

Free marijuana draws hundreds to downtown Portland

April 22nd, 2017 by admin No comments »

PORTLAND, Maine — Instead of Ash Wednesday, it was more like Hash Thursday as Maine’s high priest of weed, Crash Barry, handed out free pot, along with copies of his new book “ Marijuana Valley,” in Monument Square at high noon. An orderly line of hundreds stretched out from his small table under the Civil War victory statue.

To get the free sample, all you had to do was prove you were over 21 and say the magic, not-so-secret password “cannabis liberation.”

The date was, of course, 4/20.

“I’m giving everybody a present of a book and one gram of cannabis in celebration of Maine’s first, legal 4/20, which is kind of like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day all rolled together for the cannabis community,” said Barry.

Maine’s new marijuana law took effect in January. Broadly, it allows adults to possess and use the drug as long as they are not in public or operating a vehicle. Also, it’s not yet legal to sell it, hence Barry’s gift-giving.

Karen McGuire of Portland was near the head of the line.

“It helps me with depression, pain, keeps me off the dope — heroin,” said McGuire, after getting her envelope of weed from Barry.

Jason Boucher of Portland dumped his green buds into his hand, sniffing them with relish and declaring them a good score.

“I was going to get lunch and then somebody said there was free pot here,” said Boucher.

When Barry ran out of the 225 individually packaged samples, he began giving out

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/04/20/news/portland/pot-giveaway-draws-100s-to-downtown-portland/

New York man arrested in Waterville on warrant, drug trafficking charges

April 22nd, 2017 by admin No comments »

WATERVILLE — A New York man was jailed Wednesday, according to police, after officers found more than 50 grams of drugs on him while arresting him on a warrant.

Kendu Watts, 19, of 1652 Park Ave. in New York, was arrested at 4:15 p.m. on First Rangeway during an orchestrated traffic stop, according to Chief Joseph Massey, of the Waterville Police Department.

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A Maine State Police unit indicated there were drugs on Watts, and police searched him and found 43.5 grams of crack cocaine and 14.3 grams of heroin, Massey said.

“That was very significant,” Massey said, especially following two recent arrests that seized large amounts of drugs.

Watts was arrested on a charge of being a fugitive from justice as well as two counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, both class B felonies.

Police were looking for Watts after he allegedly gave the Winslow Police Department false names and Social Security numbers during a stop involving alleged traffic violations on Sunday. While reviewing police body cam footage, they saw that what Watts said didn’t match the name he gave, according to Winslow police Lt. Josh Veilleux. The department got a photo for the name from the New York precinct, and it matched a passenger in the car, not Watts. Police believe the two passengers at the time also gave false names.

Veilleux said they sent the man’s fingerprints to the FBI to find his

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/13/new-york-man-arrested-in-waterville-on-warrant-drug-trafficking-charges/

Boothbay Harbor officials hope to see crowd at marijuana meeting

April 22nd, 2017 by admin No comments »

On Wednesday, April 26, the public is invited to the Boothbay Region YMCA to listen to Edward Kelleher provide updates and information on the recreational Marijuana Legislation Act and what it could mean to the area.

Kelleher, an attorney with the Drummond Woodsum law firm in Portland, appeared at a January workshop hosted by Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission, where he and colleague Amy Tchao presented a program called, “Weeding Through Marijuana Legislation: What It Means for Our Towns.”

Besides providing updates on the law, Kelleher will address the differences between medical and retail marijuana, and will detail five different scenarios in which marijuana could be produced and sold, including cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retails stores, and social clubs.

Boothbay Harbor Board of Selectmen Chair Denise Griffin said every town needs to decide what facets of the law it wants to adopt. “For instance, do we want to allow all five of them? One of them? Two? That’s what we’re trying to do, to educate people and to get taxpayer opinions.”

The 6 p.m. meeting is free. Boothbay Harbor officials hope it will be well-attended because the public’s presence and its questions and concerns surrounding the new law are critical in determining what town zoning and ordinances, if any, will need to be written and implemented.

Boothbay Harbor Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith organized the meeting. He said brief questionnaires will be passed around during it. The answers will help develop options to be discussed at public forums with the Board of Selectmen and the Planning

Article source: http://www.boothbayregister.com/article/boothbay-harbor-officials-hope-see-crowd-marijuana-meeting/85110

Lawmakers mull delaying marijuana ‘social clubs’ in Maine

April 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

AUGUSTA — Lawmakers are debating whether to delay licensing of marijuana “social clubs” in Maine, following the lead of other legalization states facing concerns about public health or unwanted scrutiny from federal officials.

But legalization advocates caution that it is better to have licensed, tightly regulated cannabis clubs than illegal venues operating in the shadows.

“These clubs are going to pop up. They already are, and delaying is not going to prevent any of that activity,” said Becky DeKeuster, a consultant on cannabis issues who previously ran medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine and California.

The legalization referendum narrowly endorsed by Maine voters in November includes references throughout the ballot initiative to “social clubs” where adults age 21 and over buy and consume recreational marijuana on premises. The fully licensed social clubs were envisioned as places where users could legally gather – similar to a bar or smoking lounge – to use marijuana in a carefully controlled and monitored atmosphere.

Yet Maine could be the first state to permit marijuana clubs – a prospect that clearly concerned some lawmakers Friday on the committee charged with prepping the state for retail sales.

“In almost every other aspect of (legalization), we have the benefit of seeing the experiences of other states. And we don’t here,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, who cited concerns about public safety and impaired driving. “Maine wants to be No. 1 in lots of things, but being the first state in the country to have essentially bars for marijuana isn’t

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/21/lawmakers-mull-delaying-marijuana-social-clubs-in-maine/

Orono woman gets federal prison time for allowing drug dealers to use her home

April 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

BANGOR, Maine — An Orono woman who allowed her Charles Street home to be used as a base to sell crack cocaine for more than three years is going to prison.

Amy Hakola, one of 16 charged in the investigation into the Connecticut-to-Maine drug pipeline that federal authorities broke up in 2015, was sentenced on Wednesday to a month in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Hakola, 43, faced up to 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine, but struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for testifying against her boyfriend.

The ring included members of the dangerous New Haven, Connecticut, street gang called the Red Side Guerilla Brims and their associates, who stayed at Hakola’s house and sold crack to people who pulled up outside between about January 2010 and August 2013, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey. One gang member admitted in mid March that he participated in four gang-related murders and one attempted murder.

“It was a safe haven for them,” Casey said of the house, which is near the University of Maine. “It’s a chilling fact … her home was not only used by drug dealers, but murdering drug dealers.”

Hakola’s attorney, J.P. DeGrinney, said the situation was a setup right from the start and “there is no question but that she was used by these young men.” He added in court that it went on so long because “she was willing to use the blinders” about her former Connecticut boyfriend, Jermaine Mitchell, who

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/04/14/news/bangor/orono-woman-gets-federal-prison-time-for-allowing-drug-dealers-to-use-her-home/

University of Maine at Farmington students host ‘Addiction in Our Community’ event

April 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

FARMINGTON — It was several years before Katie Little realized she had a problem. As a student at the University of Maine at Farmington, she thought it was normal to get drunk before writing a paper or heading off to class.

It was only when she enrolled in a course about addiction, part of the university’s Addiction Rehabilitation Certificate program, that she began to put the pieces together. It was a Thursday night and Little and her classmates were talking about going to a bar after class.

“And I stopped and thought wait, I’m in an addiction class on a Thursday night and what I’m looking forward to is going back to my dorm room and getting totally wasted. I think I have a problem,” Little recalled.

Today Little, 29, of Scarborough, is 13 months sober and hoping to use her experience to help others on campus and beyond. On Wednesday she and her classmates in the school’s Rehabilitation and Families course hosted “Addiction in Our Community,” a series of events geared toward learning about the extent of addiction problems on campus and in Farmington and providing a forum for students and community members who might be struggling with their own addiction or that of family members or friends.

The program comes as Maine grapples with a deadly opioid epidemic blamed for most of the state’s record 378 overdose deaths in 2016, a 40 percent jump over 2015 and the fifth straight year in which the state recorded increases in overdose deaths.

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/19/university-of-maine-at-farmington-students-host-addiction-in-our-community-event/

Free marijuana draws hundreds to downtown Portland — Portland …

April 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

PORTLAND, Maine — Instead of Ash Wednesday, it was more like Hash Thursday as Maine’s high priest of weed, Crash Barry, handed out free pot, along with copies of his new book “ Marijuana Valley,” in Monument Square at high noon. An orderly line of hundreds stretched out from his small table under the Civil War victory statue.

To get the free sample, all you had to do was prove you were over 21 and say the magic, not-so-secret password “cannabis liberation.”

The date was, of course, 4/20.

“I’m giving everybody a present of a book and one gram of cannabis in celebration of Maine’s first, legal 4/20, which is kind of like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day all rolled together for the cannabis community,” said Barry.

Maine’s new marijuana law took effect in January. Broadly, it allows adults to possess and use the drug as long as they are not in public or operating a vehicle. Also, it’s not yet legal to sell it, hence Barry’s gift-giving.

Karen McGuire of Portland was near the head of the line.

“It helps me with depression, pain, keeps me off the dope — heroin,” said McGuire, after getting her envelope of weed from Barry.

Jason Boucher of Portland dumped his green buds into his hand, sniffing them with relish and declaring them a good score.

“I was going to get lunch and then somebody said there was free pot here,” said Boucher.

When Barry ran out of the 225 individually packaged samples, he began giving out

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/04/20/news/portland/pot-giveaway-draws-100s-to-downtown-portland/

Marijuana giveaway draws a crowd in Monument Square

April 20th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Crash Barry was the most popular street vendor in Monument Square on Thursday afternoon.

It helped that he was handing out marijuana, and it was free.

The local writer and marijuana entrepreneur gave out small envelopes of pot after announcing the giveaway on social media. The line formed immediately at noon and seemed to be nearly 100 people deep throughout most of the lunch hour. Each person got one gram of a marijuana strain called Blueberry Euphoria. Barry estimated he handed out about 225 grams of marijuana within an hour.

“We’re doing this because we live in a place where it’s legal to give a gift of marijuana,” Barry shouted, prompting a raucous cheer from the line in front of him.

Barry is a well-known advocate for legal weed, and the event coincided with April 20, or 4/20. The number 420 is a universal code for smoking marijuana, a tradition that began in California when a group of high school friends gathered at 4:20 each day to get high.

The date has become a holiday of sorts, and was celebrated in pot-friendly cities around the country with various events, many of them starting at “high noon” or at 4:20 p.m. In San Francisco, medical marijuana businesses planned a 4:20 p.m. countdown and “bud drop,” raining marijuana instead of confetti. Denver planned to celebrate with concerts and a street festival. Marijuana dispensaries planned block parties in Seattle.

The events were partly celebrations that marijuana is now legal in eight states and Washington, D.C.,

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/marijuana-giveaway-draws-a-crowd-in-monument-square/