South Portland police chief, pot advocate debate legalization

October 23rd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

SOUTH PORTLAND — The possibility of marijuana legalization took center stage at a debate in the high school auditorium on Wednesday night.

Marijuana initiative proponent David Boyer stands alone in the Mill Creek Park gazebo Wednesday afternoon, where he challenged South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins to a “drug duel” on the effects of pot and alcohol. Googins didn’t take the bait, but he did debate Boyer later Wednesday night at South Portland High School.

Both participants – David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, and Chief Edward Googins of the South Portland Police Department – stood their ground as they discussed a citizen-initiated referendum question that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

If passed, the ordinance would make it legal for adults 21 and older in the city to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana, although it would not legalize public use or the operation of any type of vehicle while under the influence of the drug.

Boyer stressed these points in his opening statement, and said it is illogical to punish adults for doing something that studies have proved less harmful than alcohol.

He also said marijuana policy has historically involved scare tactics and propaganda, and very few facts.

“It’s time to move beyond the reefer madness,” Boyer said.

Googins did not agree.

He said that throughout his 40 years in law enforcement, he’s seen a great deal of suffering due to drugs, drug addiction, and

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