Greens, ACLU push to legalize marijuana in Portland

March 26th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND — Several hundred people have signed a petition to legalize recreational use of marijuana for city residents over the age of 21, according to petition sponsors.

Zachary Heiden of the Maine ACLU, left, Tom MacMillan of the Portland Green Independent Committee, and David Boyer, right, of the Maine Marijuana Policy Center, look on while City Councilor David Marshall explains a citizens initiative that would legalize recreational use of marijuana for Portland adults at a March 21 Portland City Hall press conference.

At a press conference March 21 in Portland, speakers argued marijuana should be legalized because its effects are significantly less harmful than alcohol.

The Portland Chapter of the Maine Green Independent Committee began circulating the petition for a citizen’s initiative last week; 1,500 signatures are required to put the question on the November ballot.

“We expect to turn in about 3,000 (signatures) and have already collected several hundred in just the first few days,” Tom MacMillan, chairman of the Portland Greens, said at a City Hall press conference March 21. “Thus far, Portland residents have excitedly rushed to sign petitions despite cold, snowy weather, and we think this is a sign of what is to come.”

MacMillan said the committee supports marijuana legalization for adults over the age of 21 because current policies have negative impacts on those who use marijuana and on city and state

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