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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Maine Moving Toward Ending Marijuana Prohibition?

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Monday, October 13, 2014   

PORTLAND, Maine – Maine could follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational marijuana use by 2016, according to advocates who have gotten pro-pot initiatives on the ballot in two Maine cities next month.

Voters in Lewiston and South Portland will be able to cast votes on Election Day to allow possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over.

The Maine political director of the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, David Boyer, has shepherded the efforts.

"We're working hard in both these cities to make sure voters know that marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol, less addictive, less toxic - and making sure they know it's on the ballot and to help get them out to vote," he stresses.

In both cities, passage of the measures would direct law enforcement to not go after adults possessing small amounts of marijuana, just as police have the discretion to let a speeding motorist off with only a warning.

The legalization, taxation and regulation of pot would be a matter requiring a statewide referendum.

Boyer says voters can count on such a referendum in Maine in 2016, the next presidential election year.

"These initiatives are most successful in presidential years because you have the most voter turnout, you have the highest percentage of young voters voting,” he explains. “They typically don't vote as much in off-year elections."

Boyer says in Lewiston, students at Bates College are enthused about ending pot prohibition in part because of their on-campus observations.

"They're all fired up about voting for this,” he says. “They see that alcohol can be responsible for some nasty things. And marijuana just isn't. You know, it's not found in domestic abuse or sexual assault situations as much as alcohol is."

Boyer adds he is, personally, far from a wild-eyed pro-pot activist. He was regional director of Ron Paul's unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

"I've been working with Democrats, Independents, Republicans on this issue, as this issue - and I'm a good example of it - is nonpartisan," he says.

In York, the Board of Selectmen is fighting to keep the question off the local ballot there.



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