OUR OPINION: Pot referendum would put town’s voters on the record

September 23rd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Marijuana’s legal status is one of the fastest-moving issues in American politics. Once there was near consensus that it was a dangerous drug, with only 12 percent favoring its legalization, according to a 1969 Gallup Poll.

When the question was asked last year, 58 percent said the prohibition against recreational marijuana use should be lifted.

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York residents deserve a chance to put their views about marijuana on the record, and the rest of Maine would benefit from hearing what they have to say.

Does that mean that the law should change? Not necessarily, but it does indicate that public opinion is shifting rapidly and that voters appear to be out in front of their leaders.

It is time for a debate of this issue, and one of the ways that happens in Maine is through the referendum process. The town of York is missing an opportunity to make its voice heard.

Marijuana legalization activists circulated petitions gathering 100 signatures to put the question before the voters in November. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 against putting it on the ballot. The activists collected an additional 767 signatures on a separate petition, and got the same result from the board.

Last week, the issue came before a judge, who ruled with the town, making the observation that marijuana is not regulated by local ordinance and still would be illegal in town if the referendum passed.

Justice Paul Fritzsche was right, but his ruling Friday misses the point.

Though municipal marijuana initiatives can’t change state and

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2014/09/23/our-opinion-pot-referendum-would-put-towns-voters-on-the-record/