Last week, advocates turned in double the amount of signatures required to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in Portland, Maine this year, making certification seem very likely. 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. Use of the drug in public spaces, such as schools and on public transportation, would still be prohibited. The result from the signature certification process is expected in the coming weeks.
Residents statewide may still get the opportunity to vote on marijuana legalization as well. We received word from Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland), sponsor of the LD 1229: An Act to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, that it is very likely the measure will receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives this week. The amended version of LD 1229 contains only a simple referenda component. If the amended bill is approved by the legislature, it would place the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana on the statewide ballot in Maine this fall.
MAINE RESIDENTS: It is absolutely crucial that your elected officials hear from you in support of this legislation over the next 24 to 36 hours. Please take a few minutes out of your day to call and email your elected officials and tell them to let the people of Maine decide if it is time to end marijuana prohibition. You can click here to easily find the name and phone number of your members of the State House and Senate. Call them and urge them to vote “YES” on LD 1229. You can also click here to quickly and easily send an email in support of this legislation to your elected representatives.
NORML will keep you updated as these two efforts move forward. You can track the progress of marijuana law reform legislation in other states via NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page here.