High Hopes for Legalizing Marijuana in Maine

Oct 14, 2013

Melissa Thomas is a 38-year-old inte­rior designer for a local paint com­pany. She has a 5-year-old son, and she is engaged to be mar­ried. She shows up to work on time, and belongs to a book club and moth­ers groups. She pays her bills and is clos­ing on the pur­chase of a house in South Port­land next month. And like an increas­ing num­ber of Amer­i­cans, she likes to smoke mar­i­juana – not for its med­ical ben­e­fits but because she enjoys it. “Alco­hol makes me sleepy,” said Thomas, a well-dressed, well-spoken woman with long curly hair and an engag­ing smile. “Mar­i­juana does the oppo­site – it tends to kick-start me, espe­cially cre­atively.” Thomas believes she uses mar­i­juana respon­si­bly, lim­it­ing her use to the occa­sional week­night or week­end. She says she doesn’t drive after smok­ing and never uses mar­i­juana around her son or before going to work. She firmly believes that chil­dren and teenagers, whose brains are still devel­op­ing, should never use the drug. But, she says, mar­i­juana use by a respon­si­ble adult should be legal. And she is far from alone. After decades of shift­ing atti­tudes, more Amer­i­cans now sup­port legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana than oppose it, accord­ing to national sur­veys. On Nov. 5, Port­land vot­ers will try to make it so, at least within city lim­its. Vot­ers are widely expected to pass a citizen-led ref­er­en­dum and enact an ordi­nance to legal­ize recre­ational mar­i­juana for adults over the age of 21. How­ever, the pro­posal would not allow peo­ple to use mar­i­juana in pub­lic or oper­ate a vehi­cle after smok­ing. Land­lords could pro­hibit its use on their prop­erty. And there would still be no legal way for peo­ple to obtain mar­i­juana – sell­ing it will still be banned. And, no mat­ter what Port­land vot­ers say next month, mar­i­juana use will still be ille­gal under fed­eral law, which clas­si­fies pot as being in the same group as heroin. Thomas said she decided to step for­ward pub­licly about her mar­i­juana use – essen­tially admit­ting to ille­gal activ­ity – to com­bat the fear and mis­con­cep­tion about mar­i­juana. She said her habit is known and accepted by her employer and her more con­ser­v­a­tive friends. Even so, speak­ing pub­licly about her mar­i­juana use car­ries some social risks. “I don’t think any­one wants to be labeled for the vices they have,” Thomas said, adding that for some the vice might be gam­bling or drink­ing or sex. “That’s the most dif­fi­cult thing about com­ing out.” She is also step­ping for­ward because of her son. “I don’t want my son grow­ing up and think­ing I’m a crim­i­nal,” she said. Snipped Com­plete Arti­cle: http://​drugsense​.org/​u​r​l​/​F​s​c​A​V​yOg Source: Port­land Press Her­ald (ME) Author: Randy Billings, Staff Writer Pub­lished: Octo­ber 13, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 Blethen Maine News­pa­pers Inc. Con­tact: letters@​pressherald.​com

535e1636fbbie 11.jpg 150x112 High Hopes for Legalizing Marijuana in Maine

Orig­i­nally posted here:
High Hopes for Legal­iz­ing Mar­i­juana in Maine

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