Portland residents likely will vote whether to legalize marijuana this fall

June 10th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND, Maine – A push to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine’s largest city appears poised to go before Portland voters this fall.

A coalition of political groups and activists who want make possession of the drug legal for adults turned in a petition Thursday with more than 3,200 signatures, twice the 1,500 signatures needed to place the measure on the November ballot.

Led by the Portland Green Independent Committee, the coalition submitted the petition to city officials, paving the way for voters to weigh in on the citizen initiative this fall. The city has 15 days to review the signatures and certify the petition.

The coalition, called Citizens for a Safer Portland, argue that pot should be legalized in Portland because the drug is safer than tobacco and alcohol. Decriminalizing marijuana also would free up law enforcement to pursue more serious crimes, the groups said.

“The residents of Maine’s largest city strongly support the end of marijuana prohibition for adults, just as alcohol prohibition ended decades ago,” Tom MacMillan, chair of the Portland Green Independent Committee, said Thursday at a city hall press event announcing the signature collection.

The proposed ordinance would allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana with city limits, while prohibiting recreational use of the drug in public spaces, including school grounds and on public transportation.

Portland police haven’t taken a public stance on the legalization effort.

The coalition also included the ACLU of Maine, the Libertarian Party of Maine, and the Marijuana Policy Project,

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/30/news/portland/proponents-of-legalizing-pot-in-portland-move-closer-to-fall-vote/?ref=latest