Portland, ME: Voters in Maine’s largest city overwhelmingly decided in favor of a municipal measure eliminating local penalties for the possession of marijuana by adults.
An estimated 67 percent of Portland voters decided Tuesday in favor of a citywide ballot initiative, Question 1, eliminating penalties for adults who possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and/or cannabis paraphernalia within city limits. Public consumption of the substance remains a punishable offense.
Under state law, the possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana or less is classified as a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $600.
Maine Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) called the vote result "a victory for science, for common sense and for liberty."
Representative Russell championed legislation this past spring that sought to legalize cannabis production, use, and retail sales statewide. That measure fell four votes shy of House passage. "[W]ith [Tuesday’s] vote, it’s now clear Mainers are ready to move forward with responsibly regulating all adult marijuana sales," she said. "We are calling on city officials to respect the will of the voters, and state leaders to get ahead of this issue with a Maine approach to taxing and regulating this commodity, much like we do alcohol. It’s time to stop rewarding drug cartels and start rewarding responsible business owners, while funding important state priorities with new tax revenue."
Representative Russell has prefiled similar legislation for 2014.
For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.