‘Beyond the reefer madness’: Police chief, marijuana advocate square off in …

October 23rd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The possibility of marijuana legalization took center stage at a debate in the high school auditorium on Wednesday night.

Both participants — David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, and Chief Edward Googins of the South Portland Police Department — stood their ground as they discussed a citizen-initiated referendum question that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

If passed, the ordinance would make it legal for adults age 21 and older in the city to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana, although it would not legalize public use or the operation of any type of vehicle while under the influence of the drug.

Boyer stressed these points in his opening statement, and he said it is illogical to punish adults for doing something that studies have proved less harmful than alcohol.

He also said marijuana policy has historically involved scare tactics and propaganda, and very few facts.

“It’s time to move beyond the reefer madness,” Boyer said.

Googins did not agree.

He said that throughout his 40 years in law enforcement, he’s seen a great deal of suffering because of drugs, drug addiction and drug-related crime. Two harmful substances — alcohol and tobacco — are already legal, Googins pointed out.

“It defies logic that a third legal drug … would make this any better,” he said.

Scientifically speaking, Googins said, using marijuana has negative impacts on cognitive ability and judgment, and it often leads to both physical and mental harm.

The “alarming” events in Colorado resulting from marijuana legalization,

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2014/10/23/politics/beyond-the-reefer-madness-police-chief-marijuana-advocate-square-off-in-south-portland-legalization-debate/