referendum

Maine: State Lawmakers Choose Not To Place Marijuana Referendum On Ballot

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Maine state lawmakers on Monday decided they will not place a measure on the ballot to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. LD 1380, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland), was defeated in the House 45-98 and in the Senate without a recorded vote.

State senators on Monday unanimously killed another pro-legalization bill, LD 1401, sponsored by another Portland Democrat, Rep. Mark Dion, reports Mario Moretto at the Bangor Daily News.

“The legislature’s failure to act should not be mistaken for waning public interest in marijuana policy reform," said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is in the process of placing a citizen initiative on the 2016 ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Maine. "Elected officials have always followed the citizens’ lead on this issue.

"Maine voters will still have the final say, and we expect they will say it’s time to end marijuana prohibition," Boyer said.

“Marijuana prohibition is a counterproductive and antiquated policy," Boyer said. "Most people are just fed up with it at this point. It’s time to regulate marijuana, tax it, and start treating it similarly to alcohol.”

For more information on The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, visit http://www.RegulateMaine.org.

Graphic: The Smoking Bud

California: Santa Cruz County Referendum Qualifies; Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ban Suspended

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Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin on Wednesday verified the signatures gathered for a referendum, and suspended an ordinance adopted on April 14 by the Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial medical marijuana cultivation in the county.

The county clerk rreleased a “Certificate of Examination of Referendum Petition” to Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz (RCSC), a network of citizens dedicated to protecting medical cannabis patients' rights, to preserving the environment and to guarding the health and safety of the Santa Cruz community. The certificate states, “The result of the examination is that the petition is sufficient.”

RCSC circulated the referendum, and after 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county, on May 7. Required were 7,248 valid signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

The ban ordinance will remain suspended until the County Supervisors decide to either repeal the law or let the county voters vote at the June 2016 primary election whether to approve or reject it.

The ordinance would have allowed a patient/caregiver to cultivate on only a space 10 feet by 10 feet, and required the garden to be on the property where the patient/caregiver resides. The ordinance also would have allowed only a single collective to operate in the entire county.

California: Referendum Suspends Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ban In Santa Cruz County

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The first successful Santa Cruz County voter referendum in 13 years has suspended an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation. The ban was adopted on April 14, and was to go into effect on May 15.

Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz (RCSC) circulated the referendum and after only 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county, with 7,248 valid signatures required to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

The ordinance was suspended when the Santa Cruz County Clerk Elections Department confirmed on May 11 that the referendum petitions contained more than the minimum number of signatures. The county has 30 calendar days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the date the petition was filed, May 7, to verify the validity of the signatures.

As provided in the California Elections Code, 500 randomly selected petition signatures will be verified initially. For this referendum, 71.1 percent of the randomly selected signatures must be valid to qualify the referendum for the ballot based on the random sample count alone.

As of 4 pm on Friday, May 15, the Clerk's office had processed 266 signatures and found 73.6 percent of them to be valid. Based on this trend, the referendum will most likely qualify for the ballot when the remaining 234 randomly selected signatures have been checked.

If the validity rate at that point is below 71.1 percent, all of the signatures must be verified. To reach the minimum 7,248 required, an overall validity rate above 64.7 percent must be maintained in a full count.

Maine: Marijuana Legalization Advocate Challenges Police Chief To Pot vs. Booze Drug Duel

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Local advocate willing to go ‘hit for shot’ with Chief Edward Googins — who said, ‘Claims that marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it’s not even funny’ — to prove once and for all that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol

David Boyer will be waiting for Googins at high noon in the Mill Creek Park gazebo — with enough alcohol to kill a man — to determine who will be the last one standing for a 7 p.m. debate

In order to prove once and for all that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, marijuana initiative proponent David Boyer is challenging South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins to a drug duel. Boyer will be in the Mill Creek Park gazebo at high noon on Wednesday prepared to take a hit of marijuana for every shot of alcohol consumed by Googins to see who will be the last man standing for a previously scheduled debate for 7 p.m. that evening.

In an October 14 news story Chief Googins said, “Claims that marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it’s not even funny.” He also said marijuana is too dangerous to make legal for adults because it “continues to create and perpetuate other problems.”

Chief Googins made a similar comment during a press conference at the Mill Creek Park gazebo earlier this year. He is actively campaigning against a citizen-initiated referendum on the November ballot that would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older under city law.

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