The People Have Spoken: Locals Share Their Thoughts On Legal Marijuana

Mainers approved of a legal recreational marijuana initiative last year, but by a slim margin: just over 4,000 votes.

Clearly, there wasn't unanimous support for legalization in this state, and even amongst pro-legalization folks, there were some reservations about the language in the bill.

So I asked a number of Mainers about their thoughts on the current version of Maine's Marijuana Legalization Act, and the approved moratorium on retail sales along with it.

Were people excited? Surprised? Angry? Too stoned to care? Here's what a completely random sampling of locals had to say on the matter: 

James Jameson – Portland

“The big concern for me is, why are they extending the moratorium before they even started drafting the laws. It's like asking for an extension before you've even started the homework, nine months before it's due.”


Scott Gagnon – Gray, Certified Addiction Prevention Specialist

I do have deep concerns about the impact of the new marijuana law on children and teens in Maine. Throughout the campaign, we noted the many issues in the marijuana law that expose youth and communities to significant risks. The under 21 loophole for possession was one, but frankly, there are many others. On January 30, possession and home grows go into effect. The home grows in particular, if not regulated and enforced well, will absolutely create more access for youth. The Legislature must act quickly to give municipalities and local law enforcement the power to deal with these as they see fit to protect the health of youth and communities. My coalition will be monitoring the impacts of the new marijuana law very closely.  We must remember, half of Maine said "No" to Question 1. We owe it to them to be the watchdogs as this moves forward and to do the best that we can to prevent Big Tobacco 2.0 from compromising the health and safety of our communities.”


Kaitie Welch – Portland

“I feel like if eighteen-year-olds are responsible enough to sign themselves into the armed forces, then they are responsible enough to smoke marijuana.”


Tom MacMillan – Portland

“I am glad that voters approved Question 1 in November and disappointed that the Legislature feels justified in delaying and rewriting what the voters passed. Real democracy is in short supply in Maine and the United States these days.”


Nathan Shea – Brewer

“I'm actually pleased that the law has passed, even though it has faced some hurdles and shops are being delayed for a year. I really don't understand all the fear around it. I traveled to Portland, OR, recently and saw one of the marijuana shops. It was set up like a high-end boutique shop, you had to wait at the register before you can go in. The shopkeepers were friendly and professional and helped you get what you wanted. They knew the difference between THC and CBD and its effects on the body.”


Louis Sigel – Gardiner

“I am extremely happy that marijuana is legalized both recreational and medical now. I got signatures on the petition November last year and actively campaigned for Question 1 this year and I testified against LD 88 which was just passed on an emergency basis to delay certain parts of the Marijuana Legalization Act. I testified against a moratorium on marijuana sales and production in Gardiner and applied to be on the task force to make recommendations to the City Council on local marijuana policy. I do not have any major concerns except that there will be those in power trying to postpone or procrastinate about the implementation of the legalization.”


Nicholas Dunlop – Dresden Mills

“I don't think it's fair that you’ve got to have private property to grow and think it shouldn't be up to a landlord. Laws made it so only seniors and rich people can grow; I think the whole thing is a huge scam. I voted No on 1 because I read the bill and it's just going to slowly screw over good regular Maine people, so I don’t consider it legal. I'll consider it legal when you can grow in an apartment with the sun and without anyone bitching about it.”


Craig C. Dorais – Portland, University of Maine Law Student

“My only concern is that there will indeed be more people harmed than not by increased Marijuana use. I voted for the measure but did so with significant trepidation. However, the efforts to delay the ballot initiative taking effect are completely out of line. For good or ill, the people have spoken, and the law they voted on should stand and not be hindered in any way.”


Robert Doyle – Poland

“LePage just wants to empty his black market warehouse stash onto the market first!”


Brad Littlefield – Springvale

“I believe the law violates Federal Law by placing a damper on local investment due to the forfeiture laws of the federal government. Any property that is used in production and distribution of drugs can be confiscated, people who manufacture, sell and distribute marijuana under Federal Law will be unable to purchase weapons. Enhanced marijuana should be prohibited. Enhanced marijuana is extremely potent and dangerous, no matter what advocates say. Marijuana will be more readily available to our youth, because of careless adults. The law as currently written in Maine is poorly written. Finally, do we want a whole population attempting to work or be social publically with a euphoric buzz on; are we as a society not unproductive enough?”


Tim McClure – Lisbon Falls

“You can't regulate behavior. Nor should you try.”


Brendan Sullivan – Dover, New Hampshire

“I need to move back to Maine.”


Jeremy Carter – Buxton

“It's an herb, not a drug.”


Joyce Marshall – Chelsea

“Is there really anybody who is chemical free nowadays?”


Seth Goodell – Portland

“Honestly I haven't used marijuana myself for nearly a decade and don't plan on starting now just because it's legal. That being said I still feel like it's a long time coming. Anything that restores personal freedoms of any kind are a plus in my book. My only concern is that this is a minuscule step towards being what I consider free, and people will settle and stop fighting for more.”


Robin Cote – Oakland

“It's pretty simple. Use similar guidelines to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Alcohol is much more impairing than weed and does not have the wide range of beneficial medicinal properties. We voted to make it legal, so stop screwing around and trying to stop the voice of the people.”


Tina Nadeau – Portland

“I really wish the legislature would focus on the opioid crisis rather than on marijuana. What a waste of time and resources for everyone involved.”


Donna Abram-Cioppa – Brunswick, Therapist

“Marijuana’s been used by indigenous people in many cultures for centuries to heal and to facilitate ceremonies. As a healer myself and a lightworker, I feel natural is always best.”


Adam Overlock – Oakland

“Everybody already has pot. Making it legal is about us not wasting any more resources on something that isn't and had never been a problem.”


Mike Joys – South Portland

“As far as I'm concerned, forget about retail. Allow caregivers to expand their operation to selling to the public for donation much like the medical system works outside of the dispensaries. I would be very wary of buying state sanctioned and grown marijuana.”


Larry Hamilton – South Portland

“So basically I’ll be able to smoke it legally, but have to buy it from the shifty guy on the corner illegally with the state receiving no tax? Do I have that correct?”


Dee Norris – Starks, Veteran with PTSD and Epilepsy

“Any law against this herb is illogical. This plant has over 4000 years documented use, serving mankind. The legality of the plant has been such that many people with health problems have not been able to access standardized tinctures and oils, for their cancer, epilepsy, depression, or addictions. It is a sin to keep health from people. When I look at children's cereals and the toxins and chemicals in them, I wonder why people feed these things to the kids, and yet fight something as wholesome as the herb. My epilepsy is so bad I can barely function; every day is like a near death experience, but marijuana is what is keeping me alive.”

Last modified onWednesday, 01 February 2017 13:00