Three cities in Maine targeted for recreational marijuana legalization initiatives

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January 23, 2014

By Josh Altic

Marijuana Policy Project
Marijuana Policy Project logo.PNG
Year created:1995
The Marijuana Policy Project announced on January 21, 2014, that it was going to attempt to put local measures on the November ballots in Lewiston, South Portland and York. According to David Boyer, Maine’s political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, the measures would all be similar to successful ballot initiative in the city of Portland that the Marijuana Policy Project sponsored in 2013. The measures would all seek to legalize, according to municipal code, the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by any adult 21 years of age or older. The proposed measures would prohibit the use of marijuana by those under the age of 21 and nearby schools. Even if approved, the measures would have no effect on state or federal law, which both prohibit any recreational marijuana use.[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 initiatives in the future in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Officials in Lewiston and York stated that they were surprised at the announced initiative effort and that Lewiston and York were chosen as a locations for initiatives by the Marijuana Public Policy. South Portland police Chief Edward Googins, however, said that ever since the ballot measure in Portland in 2013 he had been expecting a similar effort in his city.[1]

Boyer also announced that these were likely to be the only local marijuana legalization efforts sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project in Maine during 2014 as it would be busy working towards another state ballot measure in 2014 and, failing that, 2016.[2]

See also