Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
|Voting on Marijuana|
|Not on ballot|
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.
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.
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.
Path to the ballot
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.
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.
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."
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.”
City of Lewiston Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
City of South Portland Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
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- 2013 and 2014 local measures concerning Marijuana
- Local marijuana on the ballot
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Maine
- York County, Maine ballot measures
- The Daily Chronic, "Maine: Three York Selectmen Prevent Constituents from Having Say on Town’s Marijuana Policy," October 11, 2014
- 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 (dead link)
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Press Herald, "Marijuana activists try second time to force legalization vote in York," August 27, 2014
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