Maine Lawmaker to Introduce Measure to Legalize Recreational Pot

November 15th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Diane Russell is the legislator who will introduce a bill the next legislative session. She’s entering her third term as a Democratic representative for Portland. The way Russell sees it, right now control of marijuana is in the hands of criminals.

“I think it’s time to have a conversation about how we regulate this product,” she says. “Right now it’s in the black market. Children have easy access to it. And we need to stop that.”

Russell says if marijuana is taxed and regulated, the revenues from sales and income taxes can be used to fund early childhood education and law enforcement. She says it will benefit law enforcement in other ways as well.

“Instead of spending our law enforcement money tracking down people who are growing marijuana plants, I’d like to see our law enforcement empowered to focus on the issues that are truly devastating communities – things like bath salts, things like domestic violence, things like drug diversion,” Russell says.

But the chief of the Maine State Police, Robert Williams, doesn’t see legalizing marijuana as a help to law enforcement.

“Alcohol has been legalized for many, many years, but yet its impact to some degree you could almost classify as devastating, if you take into account all the motor vehicle crashes that it causes, destruction of families from drinking and addictions,” he says. “So would marijuana just become the new alcohol?”

This issue has come up before – in fact, just a

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