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Portland Lawmaker Deciding Vote in Defeating Maine Legalization Bill

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director November 21, 2013

    This morning, the Maine Legislative Council voted 5-5 on whether or not to allow Rep. Diane Russell’s marijuana legalization to be introduced.

    A tie vote means the motion has failed and the legislation will NOT be introduced this session. Included in the ranks of those voting “No” was Senate President Justin Alfond, who represents Portland…a city that just overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana.

    Mainers, please take a moment of your time today to contact your lawmakers at the phone numbers below and tell them:

    “I am extremely disappointed with the Legislative Council’s vote this morning on Rep. Diane Russell’s marijuana regulation bill. This issue isn’t just important to Rep. Russell, but to all of us who live in the state. This legislation would have fostered an important discussion on marijuana legalization and laid out a framework for regulation that benefited the people of Maine. The vote this morning is a disservice to the state and the residents these officials are supposed to be representing.”

    Please call: Maine Senate President Justin Alfond: (207) 287-1500 and Maine Speaker of the House: (207) 287-1300 to voice your concerns.

    The bill would have allowed anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, cultivate up to 6 plants, and purchase marijuana from established retail outlets. It also contained key provisions in place that ensure individuals with several years residency in Maine and experience as a current medical marijuana dispensaries or caregiver are given priority on business licenses, explicitly leaves the current medical marijuana law in place for patients, and directs tax revenue to help low income patients be able to afford their medicine.

    50 Responses to “Portland Lawmaker Deciding Vote in Defeating Maine Legalization Bill”

    1. Blank says:

      This is so sad. I cannot believe that a lawmaker from the very city that just voted so overwhelmingly in support could be so detached from what people really want.

    2. Sean says:

      This is the second time that legalization has been thwarted in Maine. I hope I’m wrong, but I seriously think that legalization advocates are grossly underestimating the stranglehold that prohibition has on our society. Prohibition is so pervasive that even some marijuana advocates have come out against legalization. Sorry Maine, you lose!

    3. Jack says:

      This is another example of politicians on both sides of the political fence having a mindset that marijuana=drug=crime. Following this up is the belief that ramping up the drug war even more means they are tough on crime and more people will vote for them. We need to remind the lawmakers that the public is on to the lies that the war on drugs is based on and that being a prohibitionist is going to cost them votes.

    4. RUT says:

      IT IS A SIGN OF THE TIMES. I HOPE THE INTERNET MAKES PEOPLE MORE AWARE OF HOW POORLY OUR SO CALLED “PUBLIC SERVANTS”
      REPRESENT US. POLITICIANS SERVE THEIR CORPORATE SPONSORS THESE DAYS AND NOT OUR PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP ARRESTING US FOR SMOKING A PLANT HAVE BLINDERS ON AND DO NOT DESERVE REELECTION. I THINK OUR REPRESENTATIVES HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME AGAIST THE PEOPLE BY USING JUNK SCIENCE TO KEEP THESE UNJUST LAWS GOING ALL SO THEY CAN LOOK LIKE THEY ARE SAVING THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND MAKE MONEY DOING SO. THEY RUIN THEIR YOUNG LIVES WITH ARREST RECORDS OVER NOTHING. AH YES THE GREAT PROTECTORS OF SOCIETY! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

    5. Bob Constantine says:

      Free people will continue to do what they do even in the face of those that would enslave them.

      To not do what you choose to do, to wait for somebody to make you free, means you are already enslaved.

    6. Ray says:

      Obamas office said the DEA would not interfere with states decision on marijuana use. So why is this still an issue? It’s time for politicians to discuss legalization, regulation, and tax it. It would be so much better buying from a trusted legal business than my local drug dealer. I want to support America not Mexico.

    7. Brent says:

      I got 1 word ” recall ” Justin Alfond !! Being he represents Portland , I thought it was “for the people by the people”, looks to me like he doesn’t care what the people think…

    8. My Goodness; Ten people voted and got a tie. no good guys, no bad guys. Just quietly duped the public. Ten people for a whole city council???

      Thanks NORML

    9. How fitting. This past week was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address that stated hope that government for the people, by the people and of the people should not perish from this earth. Obviously, Senate Justin Alfond is in total disagreement with President Lincoln and the people of Maine. How pathetic for him and whoever owns him. He should be removed from his position post haste…

    10. Dave Evans says:

      I still don’t understand the disconnection. Why are our politicians so damn short sighted and simple minded?

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