Ordinance legalizing recreational marijuana use in Portland takes effect Friday

December 7th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND, Maine — An ordinance legalizing possession of marijuana for nonmedical use in Maine’s largest city goes into effect Friday.

Last month, Portland voters approved by a wide margin the legalization measure, which allows individuals 21 or older to carry 2.5 ounces or less of the drug according to city rules.

While medical use of marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999, and larger scale medical marijuana dispensaries have been legal since 2009, the Portland ordinance is the first in the state to legalize pot for recreational purposes.

Possession and recreational use of marijuana remains illegal under state law, and all uses of the drug continue to be outlawed under federal law.

Marijuana advocates have pledged to use Portland as a springboard for a statewide referendum on the issue in 2016 — if they can’t get the state Legislature to legalize the drug sooner — and are engaging in what they describe as an education campaign on the subject.

“The Portland initiative is a major step toward broader marijuana policy reform in Maine,” said David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project in a statement Thursday. “It is time to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in Maine and replace it with a more sensible system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”

On Thursday night, the pro-legalization Portland Green Independent Committee was scheduled to hold a forum on the city ordinance, which takes effect 30 days after the Nov. 5 vote.

“We realize that there is an immense amount of public

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/12/05/news/portland/ordinance-legalizing-recreational-marijuana-use-in-portland-takes-effect-friday/