State lawmaker to take third try at Maine marijuana bill

November 25th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

November 20

State lawmaker to take third try at Maine marijuana bill

Rep. Diane Russell is hoping to use the momentum from Portland’s vote, but not everyone’s supportive.

By Leslie Bridgers
Staff Writer

State Rep. Diane Russell is hoping that Portland voters’ decision this month to legalize the recreational use of marijuana will propel her third attempt to pass a bill allowing the sale and taxation of the drug statewide.

But the group that petitioned for the new Portland ordinance – as well as marijuana caregivers, dispensary owners and youth drug prevention advocates –don’t want to see the Portland Democrat’s bill move forward.

The state’s Legislative Council is slated to decide Thursday whether to allow Russell’s proposal, and others, to be taken up as “emergency bills” in the next session, which starts in January.

“There’s no sense we have an emergency on our hands,” said David Marshall, a Portland city councilor and a leader in the local Green Party’s push to legalize pot in the city.

Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, a trade association representing people who grow and provide medical marijuana, sent out a letter asking people to urge their legislators not to support the bill.

“Time is needed to develop a good law that generates revenue for the state and benefits as many Maine people as possible,” it said.

Russell’s last two marijuana legalization bills, one proposed in 2011 and the other last spring, were both referred to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which voted

Article source: