In a huge victory for the cannabis reform movement, the voters of Portland, Maine, have approved an initiative (Question 1) to legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The proposal passed with roughly 70% of the vote.
Once this initiative takes effect, Portland’s cannabis policies will become one of the most lenient in the nation; by comparison, Washington and Colorado legalized just 1 ounce – the possession of 2.5 ounces remains a crime in both states (in Washington, it remains a felony).
The passage of this initiative goes beyond a change in city policy; advocates have been clear from the start that this initiative is a stepping stone towards statewide legalization, which activists are hoping to achieve either next year, or in the 2016 general election.
We applaud the voters of Portland for taking a stand against this failed and regressive prohibition on a natural, nonlethal plant.