Lewiston holds substance-abuse forum as group targets pot referendum

January 23rd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Lewiston High School is hosting a community forum on substance abuse just days after news broke about marijuana-legalization advocates targeting the city as a place to push a ballot question.

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The plans for the forum have been in the works for some time. Recent talk of legalizing marijuana only complicates the message at the school, officials said.

Poll: Do you think marijuana should be legalized statewide?

During 27 years as the substance abuse counselor for the Lewiston public schools, Vicky Wiegman said she’s seen a decrease in students using tobacco and alcohol, but an increase in students using marijuana.

“Marijuana has been a concern,” Wiegman said. “It’s a tough prevention climate right now around marijuana. There’s a lot of information bombarding teens. Certainly, medical-use marijuana has been a bit of a game-changers in terms of prevention and then certainly with the move towards legalization.”

Portland voters last fall opted to legalize small amounts of pot in the state’s biggest city. It was more of a symbolic vote because marijuana remains illegal at the state and federal levels.

Pot advocates said they hope to put similar ballot questions in front of voters in York, South Portland and Lewiston in November.

“Lewiston is the second-biggest city in the state, and primarily, we wanted to show that this isn’t something that’s unique to Portland,” said David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project.

Boyer said his group chose South Portland for its proximity to

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