Marijuana Moratorium

January 13th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Marijuana Moratorium

By Rachel Kurzius

At this week’s workshop following the meeting, the Windham Town Council discussed a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation operations. The measure would give town government six months to discuss regulations for such operations. The action is based on indications of interest, according to Town Manager Tony Plante, and a vote on the measure will take place Jan. 25.

In 2009, voters approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana on a statewide ballot. Following the election, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was charged with creating a series of usage standards for the drug. Marijuana has been used illegally as a recreational drug throughout history, though its role in the treatment of cancer, nausea, cataracts, insomnia and a variety of other conditions likely prompted Mainers to vote in favor of physician-approved use.

”We have to remember that Windham voted in favor of medicinal use marijuana. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was greater than 50 percent,” said Councilor Matt Noel on Tuesday.

4,518 Windham residents voted in favor of establishing the Maine Medical Marijuana Act, while 2,667 opposed.

Plante got the ball rolling on the moratorium to, ”give the town time to amend ordinances to legislate the dispensary, because right now the ordinances do not reflect the unique challenges of marijuana use.”

The City of Auburn, which will open its first dispensary next month, enacted a similar six month moratorium.

”It’s a smart way to buy yourself some time to consider if the DHHS

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