Group wants pot laws to get lowest enforcement priority in Portland

June 14th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Posted: June 14
Updated: Today at 9:45 PM

Group wants pot laws to get lowest enforcement priority in Portland

A petition drive seeks to put the directive to police on the city ballot.

By Ann S. Kim
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Enforcement of marijuana laws will be the lowest priority for Portland police, if supporters of a petition drive get their way.

Under the proposal being circulated by a group called Sensible Portland, police would refrain from arresting or fining anyone 21 or older for possession of marijuana or paraphernalia. Police also would be directed to refrain from working to determine whether someone has pot or paraphernalia.

John Eder, a spokesman and organizer for Sensible Portland, said the proposed ordinance is in line with the values of a community that has supported Maine’s medical marijuana laws.

The eagerness of petition signers and other anecdotal evidence indicate that Portland residents don’t want police to expend resources pursuing people with small amounts of marijuana, he said.

“We want law enforcement in Portland to be working with the same level of values as the people in Portland,” said Eder, a former state lawmaker from the Green Independent Party.

Sensible Maine has until Aug. 15 to gather the 1,500 valid signatures needed to get the measure on the November ballot. The group

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