Hey there pot smoker! By chance, do you live in Portland, Maine and have up to 2.5 ounces of pot on your possession right now? You do? Well guess what, that’s legal.
Thanks to a whopping 67 percent vote back on November 5, the entire city has legalized the possession of limited amounts of pot for adults over 21. Smoking it in public is still illegal though, as is selling it, growing it, distributing it, importing it and even smoking it in their apartments is illegal if your landlords are uncool about it.
Many said the vote is a symbolic one meant to both test the waters for recreational sales and cultivation measures in Maine and other East Coast states as well as a move to keep the public talking about cannabis year-round by groups like the Marijuana Policy Project – which worked with legislators on the bill.
“I think there’s national implications, keeping the momentum that Washington and Colorado started last November in ending marijuana prohibition,” David Boyer, the organization’s political director in Maine, told the New York Daily News back in November. This is just the next domino.”
But progress is progress and at least people won’t have to fork over $600 in fines for 2.5 ounces or less like they did yesterday. From July of 2012 to July of this year, 54 people were cited for pot possession in the city, down 68 from the year before. Since July there have been 20 citations for pot. A last ditch effort?
Maybe not. Portland police have said several times that they’ll be enforcing state law which still maintains a civil penalty and $600 in fines.
City Council Member David Marshall, who supported the measure, said the cops should take a lead from police in Jackson, Michigan who told the town they would respect a similar vote passed last month. And one thing that cops say will certainly set them off is public displays of cannabis use.
Marshall kindly asked supporters to lay off the toking on city streets like people did back in November when the measure passed.
“We certainly hope people respect the ordinance,” said City Councilor David Marshall told the Portland Press Herald. “The ordinance clearly says you can’t do it in public.”