Pot Legal In Portland? Maybe, Maybe Not.
In the city of Portland, the Portland Green Idependent Committee plans to circulate a petition that would ask residents there if they would like to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
If and when the City Clerk’s Office certifies the petition, the Greens would then have 80 days to gather 1,500 valid signatures. There could be a vote as early as this November in Maine’s biggest city.
If you remember, Rep. Diane Russell, a Portland Democrat, already has submitted a bill that seeks to legalize marijuana statewide so that it can be taxed and regulated much like alcohol. If that passes through the state Legislature, there could be a state wide vote on legalizing the recreational use of pot in November of 2014.
David Marshall, a Portland city councilor and a Green Independent, is not optimistic that the Legislature will pass a bill calling for a vote to legalize marijuana. He then explained that the penalty for possession of a small of marijuana is relatively minor. but that it is still a crime that affects people’s lives.
The Green Independent Committee’s thinking is that if medical marijuana is legal here in Maine, but still a federal crime, then why can’t pot be legal in Portland and have the City ignore statewide law concerning it’s recreational use?
Portland city officials have reserved comment until they see the language of the petition presented to them, although they have said already that they see it as either a state or federal issue.