Third Maine Community to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana for Recreation

August 27th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

YORK, Maine – As of today, the town of York will put marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. The Marijuana Policy Project submitted more than 900 signatures to town officials this afternoon, more than enough needed to qualify for a citizen initiative. It’s the third municipality in Maine to send the issue to voters, which is a growing concern for opponents.


It was just last year that Portland legalized recreational marijuana. David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project hopes Lewiston, South Portland, and York will follow suit this year. Boyer says the Marijuana Policy Project targeted York in particular because of what he describes as aggressive police enforcement of marijuana laws.

“The amount of summons that police here give, we were astonished that it was more than places like Portland and Lewiston, even South Portland,” Boyer says.

If the ballot initiative passes, it will make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana in non-public settings. Boyer says marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and adults shouldn’t be punished for using it. Scott Gagnon of Smart Approaches to Marijuana – or SAM – agrees there are social justice issues associated with marijuana.

But “that’s something that’s not particular to marijuana,” he says. “You look at alcohol arrests right now, there’s higher arrest rates among minorities and vulnerable populations, so clearly legalization doesn’t solve that issue.”

Gagnon says York is already dealing with problems from the legalization of medical marijuana

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