GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- A medical marijuana businessman in Maine is
offering weed for weeds in a program to encourage Gardiner residents
to clean up their city.
WCSH-TV reports (http://on.wcsh6.com/2eEAtNL ) that Dennis Meehan,
owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, offered residents who collected
trash Saturday free marijuana. The businessman says anyone who was
over 21 was offered free marijuana if they presented a bag of trash
that was collected in town.
Meehan's company advertised the cleanup effort on Facebook, and he
says he hopes to expand what he calls "the day of service" program to
the entire state. Mehan says the program is about bringing awareness
to the "life-changing" nature of cannabis as well.
Gifting marijuana is legal in Maine.
Meehan says he got the idea for the swap from a Colorado town's
A Gardiner medical marijuana caregiver says dozens of people took part
in a cleanup Saturday in which he and other growers provided a gram of
marijuana for every bag of trash collected on city streets by
Dennis Meehan, who runs Summit Medical Marijuana with other members of
his family in downtown Gardiner, said "several dozen" participants
filled more than 100 trash bags - every bag they had on hand.
While he said he isn't sure how much marijuana he gave away, the trash
bin was filled beyond the top, and overflowing.
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A leader of the group opposed to marijuana legalization said Monday
that it will request a recount of votes on the statewide ballot
question that passed by a narrow margin last week.
Such a recount, involving more than 757,000 ballots, could take a
month to conduct and cost the state $500,000, the Secretary of State's
Office said Monday.
Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities, which opposed Question 1
on the Nov. 8 ballot, is circulating petitions to collect the 100
signatures needed to request a recount. Scott Gagnon, campaign manager
for the group, said the petitions will be turned in to the Secretary
of State's Office before the deadline at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
As a mother, I understand the fears about legalizing marijuana.
Parents want the best for our children.
We worry about addiction. But research unfailingly has shown that most
hard-drug users start with alcohol or tobacco, not cannabis. And
marijuana has never caused a single death, unlike opiates or alcohol.
Parents worry about teen use. Question 1 will better protect our kids,
who, everyone agrees, should not use marijuana.
From other states, we know Maine teens won't use more marijuana if we
vote "yes" on 1. In addition, black-market dealers do not check IDs
and do not test their products, putting our kids at risk.
Maine can create a legal, regulated market for adults that tests and
labels products for safety, conforms to marketing restrictions,
requires child-proof packaging, only sells to adults, and is
accountable to us.
Experience as a 30-year veteran of law enforcement causes me concern
regarding misinformation being disseminated regarding Question 1.
For more than three decades, smoking marijuana has been a civil
violation resulting in neither arrest nor a criminal record. It is
ludicrous to suggest that a civil violation would impede
investigations of domestic violence or missing persons.
Most marijuana civil summonses, which can be useful as plea bargaining
leverage, are issued as a result of a traffic stop, a search after
arrest or in conjunction with a criminal investigation.
[continues 68 words]
You may have heard about the biggest mistake in Question 1, which is
the removal of the prohibition of marijuana possession by minors. A
very big mistake, but there are many more flaws. While the prohibition
ban for minors could be corrected by the Legislature, we've seen how
well that's been working lately. There are a number of issues that are
not getting much publicity:
* Any respected law enforcement official will say the pursuit of
offenders for the civil offense of possession is not keeping one
officer from investigating homicides or looking for abducted children.
[continues 234 words]
Maine voters are deciding on six referendums this election. Here are
The Times Record's endorsements.
Question 1 seeks to allow the recreational use and tax of marijuana.
It's past time to legalize marijuana, the most commonly used illicit
drug in the nation. According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent
of Americans admit having tried marijuana, while 53 percent support
legalization. Legalization would make recreational use safer, free up
law enforcement and the courts to prosecute more serious crimes, and
provide another source of badly-needed revenue for the state.
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I've spent my 50-year career in public safety and the military trying
to protect and keep people safe. Some of the most challenging things I
have dealt with were not actions of individuals but the consequences
of political decisions. With Question 1, which would legalize
recreational marijuana, you get to decide whether this law goes into
effect. If it does, I can assure you the unintended consequences will
As a naval officer during the Vietnam War, I saw young men devolve
into addiction - first with marijuana and then with harder drugs such
as heroin. As Waterville police chief, I saw parents neglect their
children and watched as young people let their ambitions wallow in a
haze of marijuana smoke. As commissioner of public safety, which
includes Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Maine
fire marshal's office, I read reports almost daily about
marijuana-related incidents, crashes and crimes.
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This paper acknowledges "the U.S.'s long war on drugs has been a
dismal failure." On November 8, Maine voters will have the opportunity
adopt a rational marijuana policy.
Question 1 would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21
and over. It contains strong protections for kids, employers and
landlords; provides local controls; prioritizes Maine farmers and
businesses; expands access for all adults; and protects our m-edical
marijuana program that has served patients since 1999.
This initiative is about civil liberties and privacy. It's about jobs
and revenue. It's about protecting children and public safety. And
it's about addressing our addiction epidemic.
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Our biggest problem with Question 1, which would legalize recreational
marijuana, is how more drug exposure may affect our children. At
Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado, there has been 51 percent
increase in children under age 18 needing emergency room treatment for
marijuana-related conditions over the last two years. A lot of these
kids are getting their marijuana by ingesting marijuana edibles -
candy, cookies, lollipops. Do you want pot shops and pot bars opening
up next to your schools, churches, houses, parks and
[continues 188 words]
We disagree with your recent editorial supporting Question 1.
I am currently president of the Maine Medical Association, consisting
of over 4,000 Maine physicians and physicians-in-training. In
furtherance of our mission to protect public health, we urge voters to
oppose Question 1.
Surveys of our member physicians show most oppose the ballot question,
which would allow unrestricted recreational use of marijuana. The
MMA's position mirrors those of the Maine Hospital Association, the
Maine Public Health Association and the Maine Chapter of the American
Academy of Pediatrics.
[continues 213 words]
Two advocates who previously worked to legalize medical marijuana in
Maine together debated the hot topic of recreational marijuana
legalization initiative Question 1, taking questions from a raucous
audience that ranged from children to medical marijuana caregivers.
The debate was held at Unity College Performing Arts Center, which was
nearly full to its capacity of about 100 people and smelled faintly of
marijuana. A wide variety of people turned out for the event,
including families, students, caregivers and a man dressed as a Rasta
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PORTLAND, Me. - A woman in her 30s was sitting in a car in a parking
lot here last month, shooting up heroin, when she overdosed. Even
after the men she was with injected her with naloxone, the drug that
reverses opioid overdoses, she remained unconscious. They called 911.
Firefighters arrived and administered oxygen to improve her
breathing, but her skin had grown gray and her lips had turned blue.
As she lay on the asphalt, the paramedics slipped a needle into her
arm and injected another dose of naloxone.
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The Department of Health and Human Services denies a petition by a
caregiver who sought to add addiction to the list of medical
conditions that qualify for marijuana prescriptions.
A state agency has denied a petition to allow medical marijuana to be
prescribed for treatment of addiction to opioids and other drugs.
Dawson Julia, a medical marijuana caregiver in Unity, filed the
petition Jan. 12 and was informed of the denial Monday in a letter
from Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew. Julia had
sought to add "Addiction to Opiates and drugs derived from chemical
synthesis" to the list of debilitating medical conditions that
qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. The list currently
includes glaucoma, cancer and other conditions.
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - So far, only the Passamaquoddy Tribe and a
Portland resident have received permission to grow what would be the
state's first licensed crops of industrial hemp. They are going into
unknown territory in Maine at a time when federal law prohibits
commercial hemp cultivation.
Republican state Representative Deborah Sanderson, of Chelsea, who
sponsored last summer's hemp legalization bill, said the state's been
"very slow" in getting the crop going. Benedicta potato farmer Glenn
Lane said the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
has prolonged the rule-making process.
[continues 103 words]
Common Sense Should Say That Legalized Marijuana Isn't Going to
Maximize Anyone's Potential.
If you use alcohol, nicotine or other drugs to help you cope with the
challenges of your daily life, please read on. I wrote this for you.
I'm 71 now, with plenty of time to look back over my life and
consider what I might have done differently, what I might have
achieved, if I hadn't been hooked on alcohol and nicotine.
It will be 15 years this October since I finally had my last drink
and last cigarette and embraced a healthy lifestyle permanently. I
wish I had learned how to do it much earlier; I could have made
better decisions, been more available to others and achieved my
highest potential in both my career and personal life.
[continues 602 words]
Home Grown Maine 2016 is happening about five months before residents
will vote on whether to make recreational use of marijuana legal in the state.
(AP) - The debate over whether to legalize recreational marijuana in
Maine will take center stage at an event that bills itself as New
England's largest cannabis trade show.
Home Grown Maine 2016, a major event for growers, vendors and
patients of medical marijuana, is taking place at the Augusta Civic
Center in Maine's capital city on Saturday and Sunday. The trade show
is happening about five months before residents will vote on whether
to make recreational use of marijuana legal in the state.
[continues 252 words]
One thing is a fairly safe bet: If we legalize and allow for-profit
companies to produce, sell and advertise marijuana, use will likely increase.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - In six months, California will join Maine,
Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether to
legalize the large-scale commercial production of marijuana.
Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and
pitfalls of these initiatives.
You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice
benefits, the environment and the effect of legalization on Mexican
drug-trafficking organizations. Public health conversations may prove
especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will
constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.
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Experts and law enforcement officers will gather to discuss ways to
improve highway safety as Maine considers legal marijuana.
Experts and law enforcement officers will gather Monday in Portland
to discuss how to improve highway safety as more drivers get behind
the wheel after using marijuana and other drugs.
The impaired-driving summit, sponsored by AAA Northern New England
and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, will focus on new research
and approaches to deal with drivers who are under the influence. With
the prospect of marijuana legalization in the state, the summit will
focus largely on cannabis-impaired driving, according to organizers.
[continues 534 words]
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A judge on Friday gave a victory to supporters
of a referendum aimed at legalizing marijuana by overruling a
decision by election officials to reject thousands of signatures.
The same judge who upheld Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's
decision to reject a casino referendum proposal because of invalid
signatures on Thursday revived the campaign to put the proposal to
legalize marijuana for recreational use on the November ballot.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol disputed Dunlap's
rejection of 26,779 signatures because the signature of the notary
didn't match the signature on file.
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