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Voters going to the polls in Maine on Tuesday may be asked to sign a petition for a ballot initiative that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana on private property, reports Portland’s NBC affiliate WCSH. The group responsible for the petition, Citizens for a Safer Maine, believes that marijuana should be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol: Only allowing those over 21 to consume marijuana.
MPP’s David Boyer, the political director in Maine, commented on the situation, saying,
“It is illogical. We have bigger fish to fry. There are violent crimes going on, there are property crimes, and that is where our police resources should be spent.” He also added, “We feel like this is the right message to send to kids that, look, marijuana is for adults 21 and up. Right now, they are not hearing that message, and, when you turn 21, you can use marijuana, you can use alcohol; if you choose, both can be used responsibly.”
Even if the ordinance passes, it would be up to local law enforcement to decide whether to follow the will of voters or continue to enforce state law, but it would put pressure on the state to change its policies regarding marijuana use. The supporters of this ordinance also hope to push for a statewide ballot initiative, which could potentially be voted on in the 2016 elections.