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Maine Marijuana Decriminalization Bills Die

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #678)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A pair of bills that would have decriminalized the possession of up to five ounces of marijuana or six pot plants died last week when the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to kill them. Maine has already decriminalized the possession of up to 2.5 ounces.

No growing your own, you Mainers! (Image courtesy of the author)
The bills, LD 750 (plants) and LD 754 (ounces), were introduced by Rep. Ben Chipman (I-Portland). Passing them would be a matter of basic justice, he told the committee during a hearing last month.

"It is my fundamental belief that people who use marijuana for personal use on a recreational basis are not criminals," Chipman said.

But opponents, led by the Maine Prosecutors Association, said that Maine already had a progressive marijuana law. And the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency warned that the bill decriminalizing up to six plants would allow people to grow enough pot to impact street sales without threat of criminal charges.

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The so-called "War On Drugs" isn't a war on drugs, it's a war on marijuana. And more specifically, it's not a war on marijuana, it's a war on stoners, on heads, on people that use reefer: YOU and ME - peaceful, job holding, tax paying, otherwise law abiding citizens.

"Booze is GOOD and reefer is BAD": that's the message that's been pushed on Americans for the past several decades, and mainstream America has drunk the kool-aid.

It's way past time for change.

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 11:56pm Permalink
Fairuse (not verified)

Impact street sales is right, give people the ability to grow a few plants and next thing you know no one is out on the "street" selling or buying. Bad news for the Maine DEA.

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 4:30am Permalink
BillieBudd (not verified)

As much as I liked the idea in principle, I didn't hold out much hope for it. On the other hand, the voters here in Maine, when given an opportunity via referendum, seem to scoff off the pressures exerted by the Law Enforcement industry that the dupes in the Legislature embrace, so maybe it's time to hit the streets with a petition...

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 9:36am Permalink
Bioman888 (not verified)

Decriminalizing growing just makes sense.  Why decriminalize only one part of the equation?  Allowing people to grown their own would directly affect Mexican cartels.  I thought the cartels were the bad guys? the LEO groups are fighting a losing battle here. 

An April 2010 Pew poll shows an undeniable trend toward relaxing attitudes.  16% in 1990 supported legalization.  2010 the percentage is 41%. That nearly a one percent increase per year.  Stop the wasted lives and money!!!

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 2:42pm Permalink

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