City of South Portland Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
|Voting on Marijuana|
|Not on ballot|
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 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.
When asked why the Marijuana Policy Project chose the three communities announced, Boyer said that it was because South Portland neighbors Portland, win 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 initiatives in the future in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. South Portland police Chief Edward Googins said that ever since the ballot measure in Portland in 2013 he had been expecting a similar effort in his city.
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.
- Marijuana Policy Project
Arguments in favor
David Boyer, political director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Most people agree law enforcement officials have more important things to do than punish adults for using a substance that is less harmful than alcohol. If this measure passes, police can use their discretion to stop arresting adults for simple marijuana possession.” He continued, “It’s time to move beyond the status quo of prohibition and start making progress."
He encouraged the city council to directly approved the initiative ordinance, saying, “This is an opportunity for council members to demonstrate leadership on [marijuana].”
Path to the ballot
On July 23, 2014, South Portland city officials announced that enough of the 1,500 signatures submitted by local marijuana supporters and Marijuana Policy Project were valid to qualify the legalization measure for the November ballot. Election law gives the city council until August 4 to enact the initiative ordinance without a vote of the people. Otherwise the measure will be decided by the voters.
Boyer said, “Voters were very receptive during the signature drive.”
- City of Lewiston Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
- Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
- City of South Portland Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
- Butte County Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance Referendum (2014)
- Shasta County Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ordinance Referendum (November 2014)
- City of San Jose Medical Marijuana Regulation Act of 2014 (November 2014)
Lake County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance 2997 Referendum, Measure N (June 2014)
City of Imperial Beach "Compassionate Access Ordinance" Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Act (June 2014)
City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum (November 2014)
- 2013 and 2014 local measures concerning Marijuana
- Local marijuana on the ballot
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Maine
- Cumberland County, Maine ballot measures
- Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, "Group eyes Lewiston for next stop in pot legalization," January 21, 2014
- BDN Maine Politics, "Marijuana Policy Project looks to legalize pot in South Portland, York, Lewiston," January 21, 2014
- Portland City, Maine, November 5, 2013 sample ballot, accessed January 23, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- MintPress News, "Marijuana Legalization To Be On The Ballot In A Maine City And Oregon," July 25, 2014