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Maine: 3 York Selectmen Prevent Constituents From Having Say On Marijuana Policy

Maine-DavidBoyer(MPP)

Citizens for a Safer Maine on Friday announced it will not appeal a judge’s decision to allow the York Board of Selectmen to prevent a vote on a ballot measure that would make marijuana legal for adults.

“We’re confident an appeal would be successful, but at this point we cannot afford to continue playing this game with the selectmen,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which supported the measure. “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.

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

Citizens for a Safer Maine initially submitted more than 200 signatures of registered York voters to place a measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen in July. The board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot and, based on local initiative rules, provided the group with 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures.

Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted nearly 1,000 signatures in August 27, but the Board of Selectmen again voted 3-2 against placing the measure on the ballot. In September, Superior Court Judge Paul Fritzche did not grant an injunction requested by the group to place the initiative on the November ballot.

Maine: Citizens For A Safer York File Complaint To Get Marijuana Legalization On Ballot

Maine-CitizensForASaferMaine(DavidBoyer)

A complaint was filed with the York County Superior Court on Wednesday seeking a temporary injunction requiring the Select Board of the Town of York to place an initiated ordinance which would legalize marijuana on the ballot for November's general election.

Plaintiffs include York voters who have signed and circulated the marijuana petition, as well as a York voter who did not sign the petition but wants the opportunity to vote on the measure.

The measure would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in York. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public. The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.

Citizens for a Safer York initially submitted more than 200 signatures to place the measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen. On July 28, the board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot, giving the group 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures. It submitted nearly 1,000 signatures on August 27. On September 8, the Board of Selectman voted 3-2 to not place the measure on the ballot.

“The right to petition your government is the bedrock of democracy. For the Selectman to ignore the will of their constituents goes against what our country is all about, and that is why I signed on to this case,” said plaintiff Sharon DaBiere.

Maine: Lewiston City Council To Consider Proposal To Make Marijuana Legal For Adults

DavidBoyerCitizensForASaferMaine

The Lewiston City Council on Tuesday night will consider a citizen-initiated measure at its meeting that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults. The council can enact the proposed law or place it on the November 4 ballot.

Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted more than 1,250 signatures to place the measure in front of the council. Just 859 valid signatures of registered city voters were required.

Citizens for a Safer Maine qualified a similar measure for the ballot in South Portland and recently collected the final signatures needed to place one on the ballot in York.

The initiative would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public.

The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.

“Lewiston resources are being wasted arresting responsible adults for using something with far less personal and social costs than alcohol,” said Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Maine political director David Boyer. “We hope the council will see the sense in using law enforcement resources for serious issues, but if they don’t, the citizens of Lewiston will.”

WHAT: Lewiston City Council hearing on a citizen-initiated measure that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults

WHEN: Tuesday, September 2, 7 p.m. ET

WHERE: Lewiston City Hall, 27 Pine Street, Lewiston, Maine

WHO: Lewiston City Council

Maine: Activists To Submit Final Petition For Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In York

DavidBoyerCitizensForASaferMaine

Citizens for a Safer Maine will submit its petition Wednesday in support of a citizen initiative to make private marijuana possession legal for adults 21 years of age and older in the Town of York. York Selectman Ronald Nowell will join initiative backers at a media availability at 2 p.m. ET in front of York Town Hall prior to submitting the petition to the Town Clerk’s Office.

Citizens for a Safer Maine collected more than 900 total signatures, and just 641 valid signatures of registered town voters are needed to qualify for the ballot.

In July, the group submitted more than 100 signatures in order to place the measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen. On July 28, it voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot, giving Citizens for a Safer Maine 30 days to collect the additional 600-plus signatures.

The initiative would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to privately possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public.

The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level. A similar measure will appear on the November ballot in South Portland, and one is expected to be placed on the ballot in Lewiston following a city council hearing next week.

Maine: South Portland City Council Places Marijuana Legalization Measure On Ballot

DavidBoyerCitizensForASaferMaine

Similar proposals are also likely to appear on ballots in Lewiston and York

The South Portland City Council on Monday voted unanimously to place a measure on the November ballot that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults within city limits.

Citizens for a Safer Maine collected more than 1,500 signatures to get the measure in front of the council, which had the options of adopting it or placing it on the ballot. Just 959 valid signatures of registered city voters were required. A similar measure has qualified for the ballot in Lewiston, and Citizens for a Safer Maine is in the process of collecting the final signatures needed to place one on the ballot in York.

The South Portland initiative would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to privately possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public. The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.

“Voters will have the chance to take a bite out of marijuana prohibition in South Portland this November,” said Marijuana Policy Project Maine political director David Boyer. “This is a great opportunity to have an open and honest public dialogue about this important issue. In particular, we hope to continue the conversation about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

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