YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It happened in Portland, and now the fight to legalize recreational marijuana is moving to other cities and towns in Maine.
The Marijuana Policy Project is working to force referendums in Lewiston and South Portland, and Friday they submitted the signatures to put the issue to voters in York. People with the campaign spent primary night at the polls in York, and despite the low turnout they collected nearly double the signatures needed to hold a public hearing and place the issue on the ballot.
The Marijuana Policy Project needed 100 signatures, and they turned in more than 200 to the York town clerk. If the Board of Selectmen does not schedule a public hearing, supporters have 30 days to collect 641 signatures, which is ten percent of the voters in the last gubernatorial election. York resident Sherry Dabiere has been working on the campaign. She says she hopes people in town will be able to publicly debate the issue.
"Regardless of how you feel about it, whether you're for it or against it, we just want to get it before the selectmen and request a hearing so that we can put it on the ballot in November and give people a choice" Dabiere said.
York Police Chief Douglas Bracy says he is opposed to legalization. He says we need a clearer picture of the health effects of marijuana.
The Marijuana Policy Project has also been collecting signatures in Lewiston and South Portland. In South Portland, they have about 200 of the 950 signatures they need. In Lewiston they have collected about 350 of the 859 they need. There is no deadline in South Portland for the November ballot, but their goal is to have enough signatures by mid-July. The hard deadline in Lewiston August 8th.