Questions remain on Portland’s pot ordinance

November 8th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

1:00 AM

Questions remain on Portland’s pot ordinance

The passage of Portland’s ballot Question 1, legalizing recreational marijuana, marks a historic step for Maine and the entire East Coast.

Portland City Councilor David Marshall speaks at Portland’s Yes on 1 gathering Tuesday after voters approved the ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana use in Portland. But there are still many unanswered questions concerning implementation, a reader says.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

It sends a signal that the state’s largest city is ending the failed prohibition on adult use of marijuana.

While symbolic, this ordinance lacks the detail needed for success and could end up hurting the city’s reputation.

Question 1 leaves a myriad of unanswered questions:

Where will adult recreational users buy marijuana? How can users ensure the product is safe? How will law enforcement handle it?

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and the Portland Police Department have said that federal and state laws trump a city ordinance – meaning, you could still be arrested.

If Portland’s Question 1 is to be more than a symbolic victory for supporters of legalization, it must spark a discussion on how to address all of the major regulatory issues. If we don’t create rules, confusion is likely to follow.

Three years ago, Maine created a regulatory system for medical marijuana dispensaries modeled after successful programs in other states. However, earlier this year, Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest medical marijuana provider, came under intense scrutiny in part because the existing

Article source: