Portland voters may make history with recreational pot referendum this fall

June 11th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND, Maine — Statewide voters won’t get a chance to weigh in on whether recreational pot use should be legal this fall, but Portland voters just might.

A group seeking to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Maine’s largest city announced Tuesday that it has enough signatures to get the issue on Portland’s November ballot.

The Portland Green Independent Committee, which worked alongside the national Marijuana Policy Project, ACLU of Maine and the Libertarian Party of Maine to circulate the petitions, announced that the city clerk’s office certified 2,508 of the more than 3,200 signatures the groups had collected.

The coalition needed about 1,500 signatures from registered Portland voters in order to push the legalization issue to a citywide vote.

Conversely, a bill that would have legalized recreational use of marijuana statewide, proposed by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, attracted 35 cosponsors but did not gain the endorsement of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The House and Senate subsequently voted down a follow-up proposal that would have put the legalization issue before voters on statewide ballots in the fall.

“Portland voters will get the chance to make history this November through adopting this ordinance,” said Tom MacMillan, chair of the Portland Green Independent Committee, in a statement. “The Maine Legislature failed again this year to end marijuana prohibition, and this ordinance begins that process. The Green Independent Party did not expect the Legislature to be able to reform our marijuana laws, so we did the hard work of collecting

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/11/news/portland/portland-voters-may-make-history-with-recreational-marijuana-referendum-this-fall/