Law enforcement officials react to possible pot legalization in Portland

July 17th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

STATEWIDE (WGME) — Possession of small amounts of marijuana is not a criminal offense in Maine and medical marijuana is also legal.  According to the Portland police chief, the department only issued 54 civil citations for marijuana possession in the past year.

But if Portland does try to legalize the recreational use of marijuana this fall, there’s the question of how that would be enforced.

We spoke to both the Portland police chief and the Cumberland County sheriff and both say they think legalizing marijuana would be a bad move for Portland.

The first reason is because it would still be illegal under state and federal laws. They say it would be tough to enforce in Portland and it would inevitably impact the surrounding areas where possessing pot is still illegal.

Portland Police Chief, Michael Sauschuck says legalizing pot in Portland is the wrong way to go. “Sworn cops out there, sworn to uphold the law, state, federal and everything in between. To have an ordinance like this thrown in at the local level would be very difficult for us to work with.”     

He says if supporters really want to legalize marijuana, it would be better to start at the state or federal level instead of trying to enforce a local rule that contradicts with state and federal law.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce says this decision will impact much more than just Portland. He’s in charge of enforcing the law in Cumberland County, primarily outside Portland. He’s worried people

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