Maine Lawmaker Proposes Legalizing Marijuana
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Maine Lawmaker Proposes Legalizing Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 22, 2011 at 09:37:46 PT
By Clarke Canfield, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Portland, Maine -- Mainers would be allowed to legally possess and grow marijuana under a bill proposed in the Legislature, but opponents say it's a bad idea.A bill unveiled Wednesday would legalize the personal use and private and commercial cultivation of marijuana and tax consumer purchases at 7 percent. Democratic Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, who is sponsoring the bill, said it's time to stop turning otherwise law-abiding citizens who use marijuana into criminals.
Legalizing pot would generate taxes, create jobs and free up legal and public safety resources to focus on more pressing issues, Russell said. She maintained her bill would also restrict access to minors by regulating marijuana sales and taking it out of the hands of drug dealers."It is absolutely irresponsible for society to continue burying our heads in the sand and pretending our current policy works," Russell said at a press conference to unveil her bill. "Too much is at stake to continue pretending this is just a joke from the latest reefer madness movie."Opponents say increasing access to drugs is bad policy.Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said marijuana use leads to other drugs and creates public safety problems with people driving under the influence. He disagreed with Russell's contention that legalizing pot would make it harder for young people get their hands on it.Additionally, the law would conflict with federal law, resulting in confusing and contradictory sets of rules, he said."We have a lot of problems with legalizing marijuana," Schwartz said. "There're all kinds of ramifications."Maine voters in 2009 approved a statewide referendum that changed Maine's decade-old medical marijuana law by expanding the conditions under which people could be prescribed the drug to ease pain, while allowing retail dispensaries where patients could legally buy pot with a doctor's prescription.Russell's bill would allow Mainers 21 and older to possess up to 1 pound of marijuana and legally smoke or ingest it in nonpublic places, including private residences. People could grow pot within 75 square feet of space for personal consumption and within 2,000 square feet of space for commercial cultivation.She estimated that marijuana sales would generate $8.5 million in sales taxes each year, and an undetermined amount of income taxes for people who make money off it.She envisions small-scale growers across Maine cultivating the plants and selling the finished product to consumers.Her bill is co-sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, and representatives from the Maine Civil Liberties Union and the Maine Marijuana Policy Initiative spoke in favor of the bill at Wednesday's press conference. Still, she knows there will be opposition from other legislators.A spokesman for the attorney general's office said Wednesday that Attorney General William Schneider opposes the bill and does not favor legalizing marijuana.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Clarke Canfield, Associated PressPublished: April 20, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #15 posted by shielde on April 23, 2011 at 21:30:02 PT
article seems impartial
this article seems to be relatively impartial about cannabis!science/5794209
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Comment #14 posted by shielde on April 23, 2011 at 21:00:05 PT
majority vote
I'd like to see what would happen if they put legalization on a national referendum that would become law that congress and the president could not change, 
base it off the majority of total votes not electoral votes which to me is the way the president should be elected that way each vote counts not just the majority in each state but that's a whole other issue
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on April 23, 2011 at 06:30:27 PT
I'd like to see three people try to climb Mt. Washington while taking alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis and let's see how far they get (and/or how much they barf)Actually I'd like to see Chief Schwartz try to hike it and let's see how far he gets.
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Comment #12 posted by spauldingstars5 on April 23, 2011 at 06:25:08 PT:
Robert Schwartz
Dear Mr. Schwartz,
I challenge you to a science project. 
Have three sets of 10 boys from 5 different races, ages 10, 15, and 20 years old. And they must be from different income families too. Send each group out to buy cigarettes, alchol, and marijuana. Three different times with each group buy something different. Are you up to the challenge? 
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on April 23, 2011 at 05:24:30 PT
the article said he wants to cut defense spending, sounds good to me.Honestly I don't know much about the rest of his platform.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on April 23, 2011 at 05:02:14 PT
Too much is at stake 
"...Too much is at stake to continue pretending..."& who is it that consistantly wants to pretend cannabis is bad???  -Maine Chiefs of Police Association and all the others that are part of that evil.-0-  -That puts it in the right words: "Too much is at stake" to continue that B.S.-0-By the way, I just got back from Maine. Was in Portland... but destined for Stonington to paddle. Spelled, STON(E)ington.  Maine is reasonable. 
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Comment #9 posted by disvet13 on April 23, 2011 at 04:52:21 PT:
the majority approved referendum-hempworld
the majority voted to expand in maine, 62% voted approval in montana. when the majority votes, not the individual, or their own personal agenda or beliefs is all i'm saying. personally, i vote for complete legalization, it will be an end to the matter. i don't believe the propaganda and lies of big pharmacy, big oil, big tobacco, big alcohol, or big government. they have all robbed us blind of the truths that are self evident, cannabis is one of the most beneficial plants on God's green earth, and was given freely. it's the free part lawyers and politicians and special interests can't stand. complete legalization is the end of the matter. vote for it.
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on April 22, 2011 at 18:25:47 PT
Is it a majority with or without voting machines?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 22, 2011 at 18:06:37 PT
I agree.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 22, 2011 at 18:05:29 PT
That sounds good but we know it's California! I do believe the north east is vital to change. People in the north east seem to be thinking and reasoning type people. I know not all of them but there is a spirit about that area that is similar to Berkeley, CA I think.
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Comment #5 posted by disvet13 on April 22, 2011 at 15:53:13 PT:
one man, one vote
it doesn't matter if the AG opposes legalization as an individual, what matters is what the majority votes for. 
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on April 22, 2011 at 14:19:32 PT
as Maine goes
It would appear that Maine is trying to move in the correct direction. Isn’t there a saying that, as Maine goes, so goes the nation? Lets hope on this Earth Day that this idea will spread.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 22, 2011 at 12:40:50 PT
Hopefully Governor Johnson will talk frequently about marijuana and reform. The rest of his ideas are totally different then my views of other important issues. He doesn't stand a chance to actually win. Heck Trump is leading now. What can I say. I haven't seen one good candidate on the right yet.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on April 22, 2011 at 10:38:22 PT
how cool is this?
Gary Johnson is apparently going to do some backcountry skiing at Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington this weekend. Somehow I don't think he'll bump into Mitt Romney up there!’s Johnson begins uphill climb in N.H.
April 22, 2011excerpt CONCORD, N.H. — Highlighting his background as a governor and outdoor adventurer, Republican Gary Johnson announced his presidential campaign outside the New Hampshire State House yesterday before heading for Tuckerman Ravine, the mountain known as the birthplace of extreme skiing.  
Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, acknowledged that he is virtually unknown in New Hampshire and other key primary states but said he will not be outworked when it comes to retail politics.“I have to do, and want to do, really well in New Hampshire,’’ he said. “So I’m going to spend a lot of time in New Hampshire, where you can go from obscurity to prominence overnight with a good showing in New Hampshire.’’Johnson, who has climbed Mount Everest and is an avid skier and bicyclist, planned to follow up his announcement with some spring skiing tomorrow in Tuckerman Ravine, a large glacial bowl on 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in the Northeast.Here are some pics of where he's going:
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on April 22, 2011 at 10:09:25 PT
"She envisions small-scale growers across Maine cultivating the plants and selling the finished product to consumers."Small-scale? What about the hedge funds? What about "Altria" and Coors? Where does that leave them?They're paying a lot of money for "opponents" to say it's a bad idea.
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