Marijuana campaign moves forward in York

YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Despite objections from town selectmen, the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana is moving forward in York.

After winning a landslide victory in Portland last November, the Marijuana Policy Project has targeted York, along with Lewiston and South Portland, as places that could pass marijuana ordinances.

The MPP has drafted ordinances that would make it legal for adults 21 years or older to possess an ounce or less of marijuana, and use in private.

On Wednesday, activists turned in more than enough signatures to send the issue to the voters.

It's the second time they've had to collect signatures in York. Earlier this summer, they turned in more than 100 names, enough to get the issue before the town's Board of Selectmen.

In a 3-2 vote, selectmen decided to block the ordinance.

"Unfortunately we have selectmen who think that they know more than the voting population, and they'll veto it," said Selectman Ron Nowell, who was one of the 2 votes supporting the petition.

Marijuana advocates had to collect more than 640 signatures to override the board, and on Wednesday, they turned in more than 900.

"This represents a twelfth of the town and 15 percent of the voters in the last gubernatorial election," said Maine Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, David Boyer, "This is not a small amount."

If the town finds there are enough valid signatures on the petitions, York Selectman have the option of enacting the marijuana legalization ordinance, or sending it to the voters.

City Councilors in South Portland have put the ordinance on the November ballot, and councilors in Lewiston will be taking up the issue in their next meeting.


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