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Portland Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization!
Portland became the first city on the East Coast to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, on this past Tuesday 11/05/2013.
Portland, Maine voters approved a citizens referendum that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in city limits by a vote of 9,921 to 4,823, according to unofficial results.
Total votes = 14,744 Of Which: In favor: 9,921 or 67.3%
“Most Portlanders, like most Americans, are fed up with prohibition” said David Boyer, the Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement.
“We applaud Portland voters for adopting a smarter marijuana policy, and we look forward to working with city officials to ensure it is implemented.”
The ordinance will allow adults, who are at least 21 years old, to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and requisite paraphernalia for recreational use.
People can use marijuana on their personal property, language bars them from using it on any public infrastructure.
The ordinance will be enacted 30 days after the election results are certified by the city clerk, according to the city code, and cannot be repealed for five years unless it’s done by citizen petition.
i.e. about 12/07/2013. Before New Years, this year!
The Citizens for a Safer Portland Coalition; Portland Green Independent Committee, the Marijuana Policy Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, led the legalization effort and gained the support of other parties; the Libertarian Party of Maine, the Marijuana Caregivers of Maine and a group of local legislators, are all in favor of this.
“This sends a clear message about a statewide tax and regulation structure,” said Diane Russell, D-Portland, who championed legalization legislation on the state level, before.
“A lot of volunteers spent a lot of time to get this on the ballot,” she added. “This is what happens when grassroots people get together and change the world” Russell said.
A Gallup poll released last month showed that 58 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization with 39 percent opposed, according to the survey results, and a similar poll done in 2012 showed 48 percent supported legalization with 50 percent opposed.
Russell; a “real mandate for change” based on Tuesday’s vote.
“It’s going to take a Legislative Council vote to do it,” she said, referring to the legislative body that sets priorities for the session in August.
This Portland citizens initiative, would have left it up to Maine voters to make the final decision.
Marijuana is now legal for adults in Maine’s largest city, there is an even greater need for comprehensive reform at the state level,” said Boyer.
“By regulating marijuana like alcohol, we can take sales out of the hands of drug cartels and have them behind counters of licensed, tax-paying businesses.
It’s time to move beyond prohibition and adopt a more real-life approach.”
Legalize, regulate and tax it!