Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)

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A Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure ballot question was not put on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the town of York in York County, Maine.[1]

If approved, this measure would have made it legal according to town law for an adult to possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of recreation marijuana. The measure was sponsored 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.[2][3]

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. Officials in York stated that they were surprised at the announced initiative effort and that Lewiston was chosen as a location for Marijuana Public Policy.[2]

Portland

David Boyer said that the Marijuana Policy Project planned to use questions similar to the successful 2013 Portland measure on its three announced local projects in Maine for 2014, which were 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.[4][5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Maine

In July 2014, the group Citizens for a Safer Maine turned in a petition with 100 signatures, hoping this would motivate the town selectmen to put this measure on the ballot. The board voted three against to two to keep the measure off the ballot, citing the drug's illegal status federally and statewide. Again on August 27, 2014, the group turned in over 900 signatures trying to force the city officials to reconsider. The group required 641 to qualify the measure for town board of selectmen reconsideration. The board of selectmen once again refused to put the initiative on the ballot, with three selectmen rejecting it. Since the officials once again voted against putting the measure to a vote, the petitioners could have called on a largely unused law that allows a notary public to call for an election or "town meeting" if the selectmen "unreasonably" refuse to do so.[6]

Supporters filed a complaint in court seeking an injunction forcing the selectmen to put the measure on the ballot. The preliminary ruling, however, sided with the selectmen. Initiative proponents decided to not appeal the decision.[7]

David Boyer, the political director for the Maine branch of Marijuana Policy Project, said, “We’re confident an appeal would be successful, but at this point we cannot afford to continue playing this game with the selectmen. We know there is support for ending marijuana prohibition in York, and we’re going to focus our resources on giving them a chance to vote on it in 2016 with a statewide ballot initiative."[1]

Boyer continued, “It’s unfortunate that three out of the five selectmen have needlessly and very likely illegally prevented their constituents from voting on this measure. It’s a disservice to the voters who elected them, and they’ll have to live with that.”[1]

Similar measures

Recreational

Approveda Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization, Initiative 71 (November 2014)

Colorado:

Maine:

Approveda City of Lewiston Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
Approveda City of South Portland Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

New Mexico:

Approveda Santa Fe County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question (November 2014)
Approveda Bernalillo County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question, Measure 1 (November 2014)
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 City of Santa Ana Council-Referred Medical Marijuana Regulation Ordinance, Measure BB (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Santa Ana Medical Cannabis Restriction and Limitation Initiative, Measure CC (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Encinitas Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposition F (November 2014)
Defeatedd Nevada County Medical Marijuana Cultivation, Measure S (November 2014)
Approveda Butte County Medical Marijuana Ordinance 4075 Referendum, Measure A (November 2014)
Defeatedd Butte County Medical Marijuana Initiative, Measure B (November 2014)
Approveda Shasta County Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ordinance Referendum, Measure A (November 2014)
Defeatedd Lake County "Medical Marijuana Control Act" Initiative, Measure O (November 2014)
Defeatedd Lake County "Freedom to Garden Human Rights Restoration Act" Initiative, Measure P (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Weed Permitting Licensing of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Advisory Question, Measure L (November 2014)
Approveda City of Weed Outdoor Marijuana Cultivation Ban Advisory Question, Measure K (November 2014)
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 Costa Mesa "Initiative to Provide Revenue to the City of Costa Mesa Citizens" Medical Marijuana Initiative (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Costa Mesa "Act to Restrict and Regulate the Operation of Medical Marijuana Businesses" Initiative (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