Thursday, June 17, 2010


Portland Considers Ban On Marijuana Dispensaries


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A proposed moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine's largest city is drawing more oppostiion.

Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion and the Maine Civil Liberties Union are among those calling on the city to scrap the proposal altogether.

Sheriff Dion, activists, medical marijuana patients and attorneys for MCLU gathered on the front steps of city hall Thursday morning.

They say the moratorium sends a bad message after voters last November approved a statewide referendum that expanded Maine's medical marijuana law. It allows patients with certain conditions to buy marijuana from dispensaries with a doctor's recommendation.

Portland's moratroium no only prohibits dispensaries for six months, it also prevents patients and caregivers from receiving or growing medical marijuana. Sheriff Dion says the council needs to follow the will of the voters.

'Medical marijuana is a public health issue, it's not a law enforcement issue. The data from California suggests that the risk of crime outside a dsipensary is no greater than what we'd experience at a bank.

The city will take up the issue following a public hearing. That is schedueld for seven o'clock Monday night at Portland City Hall.

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