Many observers may remember the success of a measure pushing the legalization of recreational use of cannabis in the city of Portland, Maine. This was a good first step toward peace on our streets. However, the prohibitionists did not take this lying down. They retaliated with their dirty tricks.
Representative James Campbell (I-Newfield) introduced a bill (LD167) this year stating that a petition seeking to legalize recreational cannabis within a municipality would be invalidated. This is disgusting. The state’s view on recreational use of cannabis has come a long way in the last few years thanks in large part to Portland’s efforts. It seems tyrannical to push legislation preventing the people from seeking what they feel is a fair law.
Maine law currently allows municipalities to regulate the sale of alcohol through local elections. A town is capable of making their own decisions about the use of that controlled substance within its limits, so why can't they do the same with cannabis? In a democratic society, it is always frustrating to see someone with influence decide that the people don’t know what’s best for themselves. It seems to be go against what our entire country was founded upon. It seems like an injustice is being perpetrated upon the principles of democracy from the Maine state legislature.
To their credit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and the Maine Municipal Association both urged lawmakers to reject the bill. Their plea to lawmakers claimed rightly that the bill is against free speech. When the people’s message is popular and backed by scientific evidence as is the case with recreational cannabis legalization, it should be a no-brainer. Why remove the people’s right to make their own decision in this particular case? It just doesn't make sense. It's a sign of desperation from the losing prohibitionists.
Many of the prohibitionists opposing this sort of decision-making on a local level are ignoring reality. The feds have been in control for decades, and they have failed. Individual states must step in where the feds have failed, and make economic and social decisions within their borders and communities. Decentralization is the future, and bodes well for cannabis reform. The drug warriors depend upon this war for their power, money and prestige. We must always fight against them, and fight against impediments toward peace like LD167. The cannabis freedom of Maine residents may depend upon it.