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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Marijuana Decriminalization Efforts in Maine - by Chelsea Shaker

     As the state of Maine dabbles in the potential to becoming another state in the nation to completely decriminalize marijuana in the form of adult use, the city of York Board of Selectmen vowed to not include marijuana decriminalization language on their November ballot for their city. With over 900 signatures collected, which meets the amount needed to be included on the ballot, the city’s aggressive police force and stern Selectmen (similar to City Council) are making an issue with the peoples’ will. Maine State Law allows for a notary public to write in the question on the ballot if enough signatures have been gathered, so there is hope yet for the initiative. Other cities in Maine: Portland in 2013, Lewiston, and S. Portland are all considering decriminalization efforts.

     Technically speaking, Maine is already a “decrim” state. In 2009, the Main Legislature passed and extended the state’s laws by making possession of up to 2.5 ounces a civil penalty with civil fines. Possession up to 1.25 ounces received a $350-$600 fine. Any amount between 1.25 and 2.5 ounces received a $700-$1000 fine. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces can lead to jail time up to 6 months.

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