Group of legislators will join local advocates to discuss the measure at a pre-hearing news conference in the State House Welcome Center Friday
Bipartisan group of 35 legislators co-sponsoring bill to establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older
By Steve Elliott
The Maine Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hold a hearing Friday at 10 a.m. ET Friday, May 3, on a bill that would make possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
"A majority of Americans are ready to move beyond marijuana prohibition, and this bill presents our legislature with a golden opportunity to take the initiative to develop a sensible new approach," said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "I hope members of the legislature will keep in mind our state motto, 'Dirigio' or 'I lead,' when hearing testimony and casting their votes on this bill.
"Marijuana is objectively far less harmful than alcohol for the consumer and for society," Boyer said. "People are fed up with laws that punish adults for making the safer choice."
To: Mike Abbaté, Director of Portland Parks and Recreation
Attention: Assistant to the Director
April 15, 2013
Dear Mr. Abbaté,
We understand the naming or renaming of a park is complex and emotionally evocative, as assigning a name is a permanent identity for a public space, and often requires significant resources in terms of changing names on signs, maps, and literature to avoid confusion.
Our park renaming request is in reference to Kelley Point Park at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We understand the current naming of the park after Hall Jackson Kelley has historical reasoning, as Kelley was a vocal advocate for Oregon in the 19th century.
The Proposed Name:
Our group would like to propose the renaming of Kelley Point Park to Herer Point Park, in honor of Oregon author, activist, and icon, the late Jack Herer. We have reached the third anniversary of Herer’s passing and believe his significance to Portland culture, our Oregon community, and the international impact of his work and his best known book, which was a best seller in Germany and printed in over 20 languages, which he wrote and published here in Portland warrants this memorial within our city.
Jack Herer registered tens of thousands of Oregonians to vote over the course of his lifetime and collected hundreds of thousands of signatures for a variety of state petition drives.
By Steve Elliott
About 25 protesters showed up in Portland, Maine, on Saturday to decry working conditions at Wellness Connection of Maine, the state's largest medical marijuana dispensary group.
The protesters said Wellness Connection is ignoring their complaints about working conditions and their attempts to unionize, reports Beth Quimby at the Portland Press Herald. Saturday's protest in Portland followed a similar event Friday in Hallowell.
The protest, which lasted about an hour, included handing out leaflets to passers-by. It followed months of controversy centered around the dispensary chain.
Wellness Connection, a nonprofit the operates dispensaries in Portland, Brewer, Thomaston and Hallowell, serves about 2,400 patients and has about 40 employees.
In February, the workers had staged a brief walkout. The Maine Department of Health and Human Resources conducted an investigation last month, finding 20 violations of state law and policy, including Wellness Connection's use of pesticides on its cannabis plants.
The state reached a consensus agreement with Wellness Connection after the organization signed on to submit weekly status reports and allow frequent inspections.
By Steve Elliott
A pro-marijuana billboard in Portland, Oregon, put up to coincide with the city's Spring Beer & Wine Festival, was destroyed by vandals Thursday night. The vandals removed the billboard from its backing, causing it to fall off the sign, rendering it unreadable.
The billboard, which promoted marijuana as being safer than alcohol, was paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which helped pass Colorado's Amendment 64, through which Coloradans voted to legalize cannabis last November, reports David Knowles at the New York Daily News. It featured a picture of a pint of beer, a glass of wine, and a marijuana leaf with the words "beer," "wine," and "safer" printed above each image, respectively.
"Portland is a city where a strong majority of people realize that the prohibition of marijuana has failed," MPP's Mason Tvert said. "More voters are acknowledging the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, so this is an important message to keep pushing."
Pointing to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tvert said nobody has ever died from smoking pot.
By Steve Elliott
Just days before one of Oregon’s largest and most celebrated beer and wine festivals, a provocative new billboard highlighting the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol will be the centerpiece of a press conference to be held in downtown Portland on Thursday.
The Marijuana Policy Project will hold the news conference, Thursday, March 28, at 10:30 a.m. in front of the billboard at the intersection of SW 13th Avenue and SW Alder Street.
Noting that April is Alcohol Awareness Month, the billboard features a glass of beer, a glass of wine, and a marijuana leaf below the words "Beer," "Wine," and "Safer," respectively. It encourages Oregonians who will be drinking at upcoming beer and wine festivals to think about how marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol to consumers and the community.
"Our goal is to make this year's beer and wine festivals as educational as they are enjoyable," said Roy Kaufmann, Oregon representative of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "We simply want attendees who are drinking to think about the fact that marijuana is objectively less harmful than the pint of beer or glass of wine they have in their hands."
Supporters to highlight the fact that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, and it is illogical to punish adults for using the safer alternative
By Steve Elliott
Marijuana policy reform advocates will hold a press conference on Thursday, March 21, to announce the start of a citywide signature drive to make marijuana possession legal for adults within the city limits of Portland, Maine.
The petition, filed earlier this month by the Portland Green Party, would make possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana legal under city ordinance. The Portland Green Party will also be coordinating the signature drive for the initiative.
Advocates will announce the details of the petition and highlight the fact that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, and it is therefore illogical to punish adults for using the safer alternative.
Scheduled to speak at the event are Portland City Councilor Dave Marshall, Zachary Heiden of the ACLU of Maine, Tom MacMillan of the Portland Green Party, and David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
WHAT: News conference to announce kick-off of citywide signature drive to make marijuana possession legal
WHEN: Thursday, March 21, 10 a.m. EST
WHERE: Portland City Hall, State of Maine Room (2nd Floor), 389 Congress St.
WHO: Tom MacMillan, Portland Green Party Chair
By Steve Elliott
More than a decade ago, Maine set a precedent for the acceptance of marijuana use, when in 1999, state voters decided to exercise their right to approve medicinal cannabis; there have been no serious federal repercussions.
Overall legalization is inevitably coming to Maine. Citizens favor the idea statewide, but support is especially strong in Portland, where more than 70 percent of voters have twice in the past 14 years supported contradicting federal law regarding marijuana, reports Tom MacMillan at The Portland Daily Sun.
An ordinance being circulated by the Portland Green Independent Committee, chaired by MacMillan, is designed to protect otherwise law-abiding citizens of the city from police action, and free the Portland Police Department from enforcing an unjust law, allowing them to focus all their efforts on actually protecting and serving the community.
"The Portland Green Independent Committee has taken up this issue because of the lack of action on the state and federal level," MacMillan said. "Passing this ordinance here in Portland will be an historic step forward for marijuana legalization efforts both in Maine and nationwide."
By Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director
KINK Proudly Presents the Hempstead World Music Festival 2011. Other sponsors include Humboldt Hemp Ale, Bend Radio Group, Comfort Suites, Full Court Press, THFC Clinics, Stew Dodge Sound, Oregon Constant Gardener and River's Edge Cafe & Catering.
This summer's show with Toots and the Maytals, Dubtonic Kru, Nikii Davis, Rhythm Culture, Kool Johnny Kool and John Trudell & Bad Dog will directly benefit the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 and Hempstalk 2011.
Tour dates include: Eugene on Saturday, July 2nd at the Lane Co. Fairground; Redmond/Bend on Sunday, July 3rd at the Deschutes Co. Fairground; Portland on Monday, the 4th of July at the Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater.
Hempstead and Happy Hempy Productions are organizing these benefits on behalf of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012, an Oregon initiative petition campaign to restore hemp, and for the Portland Hempstalk Festival, an annual free festival at Portland's Kelley Point Park on the second weekend of September.
The proceeds will be shared 50/50 between OCTA2012 and Hempstalk.
For more information, please contact http://www.hempsteadworldmusicfestival.com/
Oregon's largest city joins the state's third largest, in officially getting behind state laws on medical marijuana.
Oregon NORML Executive Director Madeline Martinez met with Portland Mayor Sam Adams to receive his signature on a proclamation by the City of Portland that May is Medical Marijuana Awareness Month. ( Download PDF ) This proclamation follows an earlier one by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy proclaiming Medical Marijuana Awareness Week in that city.
The event was recorded by NBC affiliate KGW for the evening news broadcast. Reporters spoke with Madeline about the proclamation.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is now closing in on 25,000 patients, plus caregivers and growers, who are not threatened by imprisonment for helping people treat themselves with "the safest therapeutically active substance known to man"*.