Googins: Pot passage won’t affect policing

November 12th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

SOUTH PORTLAND – A vote last week to legalize a small amount of recreational marijuana for adults in South Portland will have no effect on how the police department enforces state and federal laws regarding its use, according to police Chief Ed Googins.

This week, Googins told the Current the local vote on Nov. 4 “does not change anything” for his department, which will continue to cite people for the use and possession of marijuana as mandated by state law.

“State law supercedes local ordinances,” Googins added, “which is why we won’t be doing anything differently. It’s not an option not to enforce state law.”

The ordinance, which was approved in a vote of 6,332-5,756, allows those 21 and older to privately use and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, along with the related paraphernalia.

But, Googins said, under state law possession of up to 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana is still a civil violation and anything over that is a criminal violation.

Prior to the marijuana vote, Googins said, his department “ran some numbers and found that very, very few marijuana offenses in the city are simply for possession.”

He said in the majority of cases people are cited for possessing marijuana as the result of being caught in some other criminal activity, and the marijuana charges are usually an added count.

Googins said if someone 21 or older in South Portland were cited for possession of marijuana, that person could try using the local ordinance as a defense, but he’s confident any judge would

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1 comment

  1. Ms. Meds says:

    In 2016 the policing will change and Goblins wont be able to do a thing about it but their job.