Maine: Public Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Tonight in Portland

PORTLAND, ME — A public hearing will be held Monday night by the Portland City Council to discuss legalizing the possession of marijuana by adults within the city.

The hearing is in response  to a citizen-proposed ordinance that would allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

After the hearing is held, the city council will have to either decide whether to adopt the ordinance as written, send the referendum to the voters, or offer an alternative proposal alongside the ordinance proposed by residents.

If the council elects to send the proposal to voters, a vote would have to be scheduled on the referendum within 90 days.

If approved by voters, the initiative would allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana with city limits.  Currently, possession of the same amount of marijuana in the state of Maine is a fine-only offense.

The proposal would prohibit smoking of marijuana in public spaces, such as schools and on public transportation,and allow landlords to prohibit it in their apartments.

Proponents of the ordinance gathered over 3,200 signatures to place the proposal on the ballot this year, far more than the 1,500 signatures that were required.

It’s unclear what effect the ordinance would have as it would contradict both state and federal law, although the possession of up to 2.5 ounces has been decriminalized to a civil infraction in the state, with a maximum fine of $600.

Maine law allows the medical use of marijuana, but a proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use statewide failed in the legislature earlier this year.

A state-wide ballot referendum to legalize marijuana for adult use is likely to be placed on the 2014 ballot, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

The hearing begins tonight at 7:00 pm EDT.

Maine: Public Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Tonight in Portland was written by and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.

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