Last week, Portland, Maine was one of several municipalities in the country to vote overwhelmingly in favor of ordinances purporting to decriminalize or legalize the possession and recreational use of certain amounts of marijuana. Police pushed back. In Portland, where the ordinance eliminated local penalties, police pointed to state laws they would continue to issue citations under, saying they had no problem with the vote because it didn't change anything.
Supporters of the ordinance aren't having it. Via the Bangor Daily News:
In a statement Friday, Tom MacMillan, chairman of the Portland Green Independent Committee, which campaigned for the ordinance, said, "The vote on Tuesday was a clear indication that Portland residents want our police force to stop punishing adult marijuana users. The police have the discretion to do so while still enforcing city, state and federal rules for public use, use under 21 and possession over 2.5 ounces. Portland officials must be accountable to the will of the people."
"It is very encouraging that marijuana possession citations have decreased by 26 percent over a period of a year," City Councilor David Marshall said in the release. "The voters expect the public and the police to comply with the ordinance when it goes into effect. The election results are a mandate that supports the discretion police are using in regards to adult marijuana possession."
Compliance: for police too.