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Portland Likely to Vote on Marijuana Legalization, Maine Lawmakers to Vote on Statewide Initiative

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director June 4, 2013

    Last week, advocates turned in double the amount of signatures required to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in Portland, Maine this year, making certification seem very likely. If approved by voters, the initiative would allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana with city limits. Use of the drug in public spaces, such as schools and on public transportation, would still be prohibited. The result from the signature certification process is expected in the coming weeks.

    Residents statewide may still get the opportunity to vote on marijuana legalization as well. We received word from Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland), sponsor of the LD 1229: An Act to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, that it is very likely the measure will receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives this week. The amended version of LD 1229 contains only a simple referenda component. If the amended bill is approved by the legislature, it would place the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana on the statewide ballot in Maine this fall.

    MAINE RESIDENTS: It is absolutely crucial that your elected officials hear from you in support of this legislation over the next 24 to 36 hours. Please take a few minutes out of your day to call and email your elected officials and tell them to let the people of Maine decide if it is time to end marijuana prohibition. You can click here to easily find the name and phone number of your members of the State House and Senate. Call them and urge them to vote “YES” on LD 1229. You can also click here to quickly and easily send an email in support of this legislation to your elected representatives.

    NORML will keep you updated as these two efforts move forward. You can track the progress of marijuana law reform legislation in other states via NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page here.

    15 Responses to “Portland Likely to Vote on Marijuana Legalization, Maine Lawmakers to Vote on Statewide Initiative”

    1. Azteca says:

      They are falling like dominoes, thank you Colorado and Washington. Funny how the minority has become the normal majority.

    2. Tiffiney Mcclellan says:

      I pray legalization happens in Portland Oregon.

      [Paul Armentano responds: This post is referring to a municipal initiative in Portland, ME — not Portland, OR.]

    3. Miles says:

      Is anyone attempting to get signatures in Virginia? What is required to get this ball rolling? I don’t see anything happening when I visit the VA NORML website. It seems like VA will be one of the last states to do anything regarding marijuana but I’d like for that NOT to be the case…

      [Paul Armentano responds: Virginia lacks a voter initiative process. Therefore, any legal reforms must be approved by the state legislature and approved by the Governor.]

    4. Gene says:

      How many states are voting on out right legalization for anyone over the age of 21this fall?

    5. Douglas says:

      I pray for it to happen in Texas. We need to have a cross america pray day to end Cannabis probition

    6. This is really cool news, it’s great that the politicians (the not-so-crappy ones anyway) are finally LISTENING to the voters that elected them. This is one more nail in the coffin of our Draconian drug laws.

    7. michael says:

      cmon Maine!!! THANK YOU NORML FOR FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

    8. Evening Bud says:

      Come on Portland, let’s keep this ball rolling!

    9. Miles says:

      [Paul Armentano responds: Virginia lacks a voter initiative process. Therefore, any legal reforms must be approved by the state legislature and approved by the Governor.]

      That’s really depressing since they all seem to want to continue the status quo: Keeping our prisons and jails full of marijuana users…

    10. William says:

      Don’t worry much about the states that don’t seem to be moving much on changing their laws. When they see their neighboring states rolling in the profits, it’ll make even the Republicans all warm and fuzzy. How many states have casinos now? LoL As in the immortal words of the great Cyndi Lauper, “Money Changes Everything”. (rofl sorry bout that one folks)

    11. Dave Evans says:

      I honestly can’t believe that gay marriage and gambling are A) more important to America than legal marijuana and B) that gambling is an industry–that is like saying prostitution is an industry.

      Marijuana is something real, gambling is just entertainment and a way to throw our money away. In order for this “industry” to flourish, you literally need a bunch of morons to support it. Yet this stupid behavior has more political support in America than normal marijuana usage? Really??????? Why?

      Gay laws only help gay people, while marijuana user are everyone, including all the gay people I know who also toke (a much higher percentage of gays toke than straight people, probably because of the stress of being gay). You want to help gays? Legal marijuana will help them too. One less stupid thing for them to be legally harassed about.

    12. Denny Strausser says:

      One by one, more States will slowly sign on. It’ll take awhile, but I think the more States get aboard the legal train, the faster other States will consider it… and then legalize.
      I hope this wins in Maine, the third official State to legalize. ;-)

    13. dk says:

      Now that two states have gone legal, people are witnessing that all of the lies about pot were just that. Lies. Not one of the ominous predictions came true. One older lady I know predicted that there would be accidents “all over the place”. I guess I should be happy that they were wrong about that butcher knife thing.I long for the day when I can spark up a 100% legal bowl, sitting out on my lawn, and feel as comfortable doing it as I would drinking a beer. I’ll feel even better, when the cops can be seen smoking it too. As is the case with alcohol.

    14. Trish says:

      I know this may be a stupid question but I go up to Maine (bar harbor) twice a year . Would I be able to stop in Portland and buy if they opened a store? Instead of trekking up there with smoke in my car? Just curious, if so I am excited about getting up there in September

    15. FineTreeState207 says:

      Yes we are very close to recrational use of cannabis in Pot.land, after 15+ years of voting and activisim. We worked on decriminalization first, medicinal and now recreational. As did the leading states in the Cannabis movement.

      Our work now will be to keep the vultures from feeding off the revenue generated from legal smoke. We have a profitable agrictural product that could help revive our local economies. How will we move forward with liscencing and taxation? The price of cannabis is stable agian after dropping $50 per ounce. More producers are set up and harvesting. Politicians want to play the game of “we give you liscenture, you give us 30% on each unit you sell, plus sales tax and normal business fee’s. As a grasstoots business person, thats not a fair deal for us. Ideally our laws and liscenture should move toward a micro-brewery or roastery model. Maybe an agricultural model like an organic farm. Afterall we are talking about a plant. In fact, the same plant family as hops, which real beer is made of, just extracted differently.

      Lets all keep active and vocal as our laws change around our sacred plants. The real discussion has started and if you are concerned about the future of cannabis culture, show up for the hearings, talk to your politicians and tell you friends to get involved.

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