Push to legalize marijuana likely in more Maine communities

January 26th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

January 21

After a successful campaign in Portland, a national group will try to put the issue to voters in Lewiston, South Portland and York.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON — The battle over marijuana legalization could be coming to three more Maine communities this November.

A national organization that helped successfully campaign for legalization of recreational pot use in Portland last year plans to target Lewiston, South Portland and York this fall as it lays the groundwork for a statewide legalization campaign in 2016.

The Marijuana Policy Project plans to conduct petition drives to put the question to voters in the three communities in an effort to keep the legalization debate moving in Maine. The efforts could benefit from the higher voter turnout likely in an election for governor.

The group has not yet started the petition drives.

“We definitely want it to be an election issue,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, told the Portland Press Herald on Monday. “We think voters should know where gubernatorial candidates stand on this issue, particularly because one of them is going to be governor in 2016 when it does pass (statewide).”

This coincides with a clear shift in attitude toward pot use among the public and politicians, including those in the White House.

In an interview published in The New Yorker this week, President Obama described marijuana use as “a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as

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