York selectmen’s decision marks first significant setback in organization’s …

July 30th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

YORK, Maine — A divided York board of selectmen Monday night refused to place an ordinance that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana on the town’s November ballot.

The selectmen’s decision against putting the measure to a town-wide vote represents the first significant setback in an ongoing, statewide effort by the Marijuana Policy Project to ultimately legalize pot.

The organization and its supporters successfully campaigned for a legalization ordinance in the state’s largest city of Portland last fall and claimed summertime victories by gathering enough petition signatures to place similar ordinances on the York and South Portland ballots.

But at the Monday night meeting, Chairwoman Mary Andrews joined fellow York selectmen Jonathan Speers and Robert Palmer Jr. in voting against placing the legalization on the town’s November ballot, despite the number of signatures collected.

Speers said the town charter only requires the selectmen to honor petitions seeking enactment of “any lawful ordinance” and argued the pot proposal doesn’t qualify because recreational marijuana use remains against state and federal laws.

“You are asking me to break a law when I swore to uphold all state, federal and local laws,” Andrews said.

Selectmen Robert Nowell and Torbert MacDonald voted to place the ordinance on the ballot in what was a 3-2 vote against the move.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which gathered the requisite 100 signatures to bring the proposal to the selectmen, reportedly can override the selectmen’s refusal and put the ordinance on the ballot without their approval by collecting 631 signatures.

David Boyer, Maine political director of

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2014/07/29/news/portland/york-selectmens-decision-marks-first-significant-setback-in-organizations-statewide-effort-to-legalize-marijuana/