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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Fight To Legalize Marijuana In Portland Continues


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The Fight To Legalize Marijuana In Portland Continues
PORTLAND (WGME) -- Thursday, pro-pot groups met at city hall to officially announce a citywide petition to legalize the drug, and to tout the positives of it.

This is an uphill battle for proponents of legalizing marijuana, but a battle they certainly think they can win. Thursday, several pro-pot groups made their argument as to why it should be legal, but the idea is drawing mixed reaction from those around the city.

Tom Macmillan of Portland Green Independent Committee says, "Marijuana legalization is an idea who's time has come."

The push for legalizing pot in Portland is moving forward. "Our city and state are wasting money going after marijuana users while real problems are ignored," says Macmillan.

The Portland Green Independent Committee, backed by the support of the ACLU and a city councilman, continued with efforts to make the possession of 2.5 ounces of the  drug legal in city limits.

On Thursday at city hall, they promoted a petition that will be circulating around the city.

David Marshall of Portland city council says "What this ordinance will basically do is take the state's decriminalization law one step further. Instead of it being a penalty for someone for possession a small amount of marijuana and getting a fine and getting charged with a crime, it would no longer be a crime."

The groups say right now they have several hundred signatures for a petition they filed earlier this month, they need 1,500 in order to push the idea forward.

At their news conference Thursday, they also touted the positives of pot...comparing it to alcohol as "not addictive" and pushing that it would only be legal for people 21 and older, and not in public places. "This ordinance will remove penalties for responsible adults using marijuana because it has been proven again and again to be safer than alcohol,” says Macmillan.

The idea, however, is drawing mixed reaction around the city. "I think any mood altering substance is not okay. I have to go back to some of the other theorists who say mood altering is, we don't have to mood alter," says Evie Hall of Portland.

Kathleen Parr of Falmouth says "I think the war on drugs is a waste of money. We regulate alcohol, there's no reason why we can't regulate and tax marijuana."

The groups have until May 30th to collect all of their signatures. They expect to meet their deadline. There's a similar bill in the legislature right now, that would regulate marijuana.

This week, congresswoman Chellie Pingrie announced she'll help back that bill.

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