More than 52 percent of voters in South Portland, Maine made it clear earlier this week that they are tired of their fellow South Portlanders getting hassled for small amounts of herb. A new ordinance makes the possession of an ounce or less legal for adults 21-and-up.
The move is largely symbolic, but the cops still say they don’t care. They’ll continue to enforce the law as they see fit.
South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins says his officers are going to ignore the people they are charged with protecting and serving. The same thing happened in Portland, which passed a similar measure earlier this year and yet still sees marijuana possession charges in their courts.
“I obviously was hoping this would be defeated, although I am well aware of the changing attitudes about marijuana in society,” Googins told the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry. “Regardless, we will continue to enforce state law. State law supersedes a local ordinance. That’s just the way it is. When we arrest someone for shoplifting or anything else, and they’re in possession of marijuana, we’re going to cite them for that as well.”
They’ll no doubt do more than that. Cops love using marijuana possession as a way to create crimes out of nothing. Currently, Maine law has decriminalized 2.5 ounces or less.
Predictably, the anti-pot crowd is trying to spin the whole thing as well. Scott Gagnon with the anti-marijuana propaganda group Smart Approaches to Marijuana was quick to point out that between South Portland and Lewiston, Maine – which ran a failed decriminalization measure – voters outright rejected marijuana.
Others jumped the shark, saying the move in South Portland is going to somehow make youth cannabis use skyrocket – even though the law change really doesn’t do much towards actually legalizing cannabis.