The voters of Lewiston, Maine will have a chance to express their opinion about marijuana legalization this November. According to the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston City Council voted unanimously to put the marijuana legalization initiative on the general election ballot. Lewiston is the second largest city in the state.
The initiative is the work of Citizens for a Safer Maine which has been collecting signatures to local legalization initiative on the ballot in several cities through the state. They got a similar initiative on the ballot in Portland last year, which was approved overwhelmingly, and already have one on the ballot in South Portland this year.
If approved this Lewsiton measure would make it legal under local law for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Since it doesn’t change state law the actually direct impact maybe modest, but it is a big part of a large political effort.
These local votes will be used to either push the state legislature to take action of marijuana legalization or lay the groundwork for a statewide initiative campaign in 2016.
How these local efforts do should provide a very good estimate of the level of support marijuana legalization has in Maine. Using some relatively simple math it is possible to use these local results to create rough picture of how well the issue would likely perform statewide. The result from the Portland election last year were fairly promising.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy
Photo by thisisbossi under Creative Commons license