Local cannabis advocates celebrate today, as more than 3,000 signatures (more than double the amount needed) will be turned in to city officials in Portland, Maine, to qualify an initiative that would legalize personal possession of 2 1/2 ounces for adults 21 and older.
Residents of Portland, the largest city in Maine, have been collecting signatures on petitions over the last few months, working to assure a spot for legalization on this November’s ballot. The Portland Green Party, the Marijuana Policy Project, the Libertarian Party of Maine and the ACLU of Maine have all been involved in the project.
Lawmakers have also been working to legalize at the state level in Maine – State Rep. Diane Russell filed LD 1229 in March in an effort to legalize 2.5 ounces and cultivation of up to 6 plants by putting it to a vote in November. 35 bi-partisan co-sponsors signed on in support, and lobbied for its passage.
Activists have set their sights on state-wide legalization as well, having announced plans to put it on the 2016 presidential election ballot. MPP has stated it will begin a signature drive on an initiative for the 2016 ballot to put legalization up to vote, if lawmakers don’t do it through legislation first.