Residents of Portland, Maine are headed to the ballot box today to decide whether to legalize cannabis. The ballot measure, known as Question 1, asks voters whether those over 21 should be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces for recreational purposes within city limits.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Question 1 was put to vote after the Portland Independent Green Committee gathered 2,500 signatures to put the item before the city council, which then voted 6-1 to place the proposed ordinance on the ballot.
The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has been working to help promote the ordinance’s passage and received an array of publicity for bus ads that debuted last month.
“Passage of the Portland initiative would not only change city law, but would also send an important message to the entire state that Mainers are tired of wasting limited law enforcement resources on arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana responsibly,” the MPP stated on its website.
State voters passed Maine’s medical marijuana law in 1999 and allowed cannabis dispensaries through a ballot initiative in 2009. If the ballot measure passes, it will be largely symbolic as Portland’s chief of police has stated, while marijuana possession is a low priority, officers will continue to enforce state law that treats the possession of less than 2.5 ounces of cannabis as a civil offense.