Advocates of recreational marijuana use are looking to an upcoming vote in Maine as an indicator of whether the East Coast is ready to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington by legalizing cannabis.
Voters in Portland are being
asked whether they want to make it legal for adults 21 and over to
possess -- but not purchase or sell -- up to 2.5 ounces of pot. The Nov.
5 vote is being eyed nationally as momentum grows in favor of
legalizing marijuana use.
The Marijuana Policy Project, a
Washington, D.C.-based group that supports legalization, says it
targeted Portland because it's Maine's largest city and because, unlike
many other states and cities, it has an initiative process to get the
referendum on the ballot. Organizers hope passage of the Portland
initiative could spur similar results in other liberal Northeast cities.
"I think there's national implications, keeping the momentum that
Washington and Colorado started last November in ending marijuana
prohibition," said David Boyer, the organization's political director in
Maine. "This is just the next domino."