Legalize marijuana? Portland voters will get final say

July 16th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

July 16

Legalize marijuana? Portland voters will get final say

Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to OK possession of 2.5 ounces by adults older than 21.

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – Voters on Nov. 5 will have the opportunity to legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for adults age 21 and older.

Regina Phillips, a NAACP of Maine board member, speaks during news conference Monday at City Hall to promote making marijuana legal in Portland. Voters will decide the issue Nov. 5 after the City Council rejected an opportunity to legalize it Monday night.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

Portland City Councilor David Marshall speaks during a news conference about making marijuana legal in Portland at City Hall on Monday. On the board to the right are statistics depicting the disparities between blacks and whites in the arrest rates on marijuana possession charges.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

The City Council voted 5-1 Monday night, with Councilor John Coyne opposed, to send the measure to voters, rather than simply adopt a citizen-initiated ordinance that was endorsed by more than 2,500 residents.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law. State law allows people to use medicinal marijuana for medical purposes if recommended by a doctor.

Portland’s ordinance would fly in the face of both laws. Coyne said he was concerned the city could lose state

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