Maine Legal Pot Supporters Vow to Continue Efforts, Despite Legislative Defeat

June 11th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Less than a half-hour after the Senate vote, activists were already looking to the future.

“We will begin the citizens initiative process,” says David Boyer, the Marijuana Policy Project’s political director in Maine. “We are focusing on 2016 for that initiative. There will be more turnout of Mainers, more young voters. The majority of Americans support ending marijuana prohibition.”

And Maine voters, Boyer contends, are more in favor of legalizing pot than the U.S. public as a whole. The state was one of the first in the nation to pass a medical marijuana law in 1999. Four years ago, voters approved a ballot measure updating the original law and setting up a system of dispensaries to distribute the drug medicinally.

A citizens’ referendum in Portland this November, that would make possession legal for adults within city limits, will further test public attitudes on the drug here. But if voters are indeed open to legalizing pot sooner rather than later, most state senators were decidedly less enthusiastic about that possibility.

“I’ve seen too many of my family members addicted to this drug to give my endorsement to the use of the drug. I believe a vote to pass this bill is an endorsement,” said Republican Sen. Doug Thomas.

“With the passing of the law in Washington, my husband and I found ourselves in a very awakward situation, trying to explain to our two 14-year-olds the fact that a state has said, ‘It’s perfectly fine to consumer marijauna,'” said Sen. Rebecca Millett,

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