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City of Lewiston Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)

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A City of Lewiston Rcreational Marijuana Legalization Measure ballot question may be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Lewiston in Androscoggin County, Maine.

If approved, this measure would make it legal according to city law for an adult to possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of recreation marijuana. The measure is being sponsored and put on the ballot through initiative petition by the group Marijuana Policy Project. David Boyer, Maine’s political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, announced on January 21, 2014, that the organization would attempt to put similar ballot measures on the ballots of three municipalities in Maine: Lewiston, South Portland and York.[1][2]

When asked why the Marijuana Policy Project chose the three communities announced, Boyer said that it was because South Portland neighbors Portland, in which a similar measure was approved in 2013, that Lewiston is viewed as a battleground for the governor's race and that York is close to potential future initiatives in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Officials in Lewiston stated that they were surprised at the announced initiative effort and that Lewiston was chosen as a location for Marijuana Public Policy.[1]

Background

Portland

David Boyer said that the Marijuana Policy Project plans to use questions similar to the successful 2013 Portland measure on its three announced local projects in Maine for 2014, which are Lewiston, South Portland and York.

The Portland question, Measure 1, had the following summary:

This ordinance legalizes the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older. It allows adults 21 years of age or older to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and paraphernalia. It also allows adults 21 years of age or older to engage in activities for the purpose of ascertaining the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. It prohibits recreational use activities in public spaces, school grounds, and on transportation infrastructure. It prohibits adults under 21 and minors from engaging in recreational use activities. Landlords and property owners may restrict the smoking of marijuana on their property by posting "No Smoking" signs near the entrances. It requires the Mayor to report annually on the implementation enforcement of the ordinance; allows city officers and employees to cooperate with federal drug enforcement authorities as required by law; and makes the City's disciplinary procedures for officers and employees the exclusive remedy for a violation of the ordinance. Finally it resolves to support taxation and regulation of marijuana by the State of Maine and Federal government.[3][4]

Support

David Boyer, the political director for the Maine branch of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) said, “Our opponents will claim this measure has no teeth, but that’s because they’ll say just about anything to maintain the status quo. Police have discretion and can refrain from arresting adults for marijuana possession. We expect them to follow the will of the voters and do just that if this law is approved in November.”[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Maine

On September 2, 2014, the Lewiston City Council put the initiative, which seeks to let Lewiston residents use pot in privacy, on the ballot. They were left little choice by a successful initiative petition drive led by Citizens for a Safer Maine who turned in 1,250 signatures supporting its initiative. They needed just 859 of them to be valid and passed that threshold with flying colors. This gave the city council the option of adopting the initiative directly or sending it to the voters. Leery of contradicting state and federal law or worried the measure would be simply ineffectual and be left unenforced, the city council members unanimously decided to pass the decision on to the voters.[6][5]

Similar measures

Recreational

Colorado:

Defeatedd Town of Palmer Lake Marijuana Legalization Referendum (April 2014)

Maine:

Michigan:

New Mexico:
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Albuquerque Marijuana Decriminalization Measure (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Santa Fe Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative (November 2014)

Wisconsin:

Approveda Dane County State Legalization of Marijuana Referendum (April 2014)

Medical

California:

Approveda Lake County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance 2997 Referendum, Measure N (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Imperial Beach "Compassionate Access Ordinance" Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Act (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Jose Medical Marijuana Regulation Act of 2014 (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Jose Pension Measure to Alter Measure B Reform Charter Amendment (November 2014)


See also

External links

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References