Tonight, 7 p.m.: Portland, Maine Will Host a Public Hearing on Marijuana Legalization
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 07/15/2013 in Medical Marijuana News
The Portland City Council is set to discuss the legalization of marijuana in Portland by adults within the city’s limits on Monday night after a citizen-proposed ordinance was brought to lawmaker’s attentions. The public hearing will congregate over the potential to allow for adults to possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana and would be responsible for allowing “legal possession” in Portland, Maine.
After the hearing has been completed the city council with then be faced with a decision: either decide to adopt the ordinance as written and send the referendum to the voters, or offer an alternative proposal alongside the ordinance proposed by the residents. However, if the council decides to send the proposal to the voters, a vote would have to be scheduled on the issued referendum within ninety days.
If voter-approved, the initiative will allow adults who are aged twenty-one and older to possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana within Portland’s sixty-four-and-a-half square mile limits. As of right now, possessing the same amount of marijuana as listed in the citizen-proposed ordinance is considered a fine-only offense in the state of Maine. Since 1999, Maine has allowed for the recommending and limited possession of medical marijuana.
The proposal would however prohibit smoking marijuana in a public places such as schools, public transportation and would even allow for landlords to prohibit it smoking in their properties. The states of Delaware, Arizona, Rhode Island and Maine are known for having employed fairly explicit housing protections within the language of their medical marijuana legislations. These enacted legislations state: “No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for his status as a (medical marijuana) card holder.”
As the proponents of the citizen-issued ordinance have already gathered 3,200 signatures to place the proposal on the ballot this year, they have far exceeded the 1,500-plus signatures that were required to bring it before voters. However, it remains unclear what effect the ordinance is going to have, as it would clearly contradict both state and federal law. Although the possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana has been decriminalized to only a civil infraction in the state of Maine, outright legalization blatantly conflicts with federal law. If penalized for being in possession of that amount of marijuana, individuals are subject to a maximum fine of $600.
Everyone should take notice however, earlier this year a proposal to legalize marijuana for adult’s use statewide fell short by only four votes on the House floor. Representative Diane Russell’s marijuana measure would have placed the question of marijuana legalization before Maine voters back in the November election if it hadn’t been rejected by way of a 71-67 vote.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a state-wide ballot referendum that would legalize the use of marijuana for adults is likely to be placed on next year’s general election ballot. If you are in the Portland, Maine area tonight and you wish to take part ina public congregation over the legalization of marijuana, the hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m. tonight–Eastern Standard Time.