Sensible Portland Aims To End Marijuana Arrests In Maine City


Graphic: Sensible Portland

​A group of concerned citizens in Portland, Maine is trying to pass an ordinance making marijuana possession the lowest enforcement priority for police, with no arrest required.

Sensible Portland turned in petitions with more than 2,000 signatures to the city clerk on Tuesday morning, reports WGME. In order to put the question before voters on the November ballot, 1,500 valid signatures are needed.
The proposed ordinance also requires Portland’s mayor to report to the City Council on marijuana arrests by the police, reports Caroline Cornish at WCSH 6.
The ordinance is limited. Officers wouldn’t face any penalty if they violated the ordinance, and the language specifically states that it’s not intended to prohibit police from working with federal drug enforcement agents.
But Sensible Portland said it’s important for voters to go on the record about this issue, since the federal government said it plants to crack down on even medical marijuana users.

The group also hopes the proposed ordinance will eventually help lead to a discussion about legalizing marijuana.
If at least 1,500 of the 2,114 signatures turned in on Tuesday are valid, the proposal will go to the Portland City Council. The council will hold a public hearing, after which it can either enact the proposal, or put it before the voters in November.
The council can also put its own alternative plan before the voters at the same time.