The first step in a heated battle has been taken by marijuana activists.
The Maine Marijuana Policy Project submitted 1,521 petition signatures in support of legalizing pot in South Portland. 959 of those signatures need to be verified as registered South Portland voters. The city clerk's office will verify them over the next 20 days.
The pot battle in South Portland will be a tough fight. Since last years victory in Portland, South Portland officials have been very vocal about their opposition to the ordnance. They remain committed to keeping the same ordnance out of their city.
The proposal is similar to Portland’s ordnance and will be primarily symbolic. It would make it legal for those over 21 to posses up to one ounce of pot, 1.5 ounces less than the Portland ordnance. The Marijuana Policy Project will seek statewide legalization of marijuana in November 2016.
York and Lewiston are the two other locations the Marijuana Policy Project are seeking to legalize pot in this fall. York will be holding a public meeting on July 28th about placing legalization on the November ballot.
Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful, Shenna Bellows, has joined the Marijuana Policy Project's fight. She claims to be 'the country’s first Senate candidate to openly endorse marijuana legalization.' She's challenging Republican Susan Collins for the seat.
Lewiston marijuana activists still need half of the necessary 859 signatures to collect. They have until early August to collect the remaining signatures.