Sunday, July 25, 2021


More than 10,000 NY and NJ airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations; and Dr. Jill Biden is in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.


Drama builds over who will serve on the House January 6th panel; Senate tries to hold tech accountable for COVID misinformation; and VP Harris promotes a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Compromise Averts Felony Charges for First-time Maine Drug Offenders


Monday, June 6, 2016   

AUGUSTA, Maine - Starting next month, Mainers who would have faced felony charges for possession of small amounts of drugs will instead receive a misdemeanor.

A legislative compromise put a lid on the felony charges.

When the legislative session began, Attorney General Janet Mills was pushing to make possession of 30 milligrams of drugs like heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine a felony, but Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland) worked out a compromise with Mills.

"I think it was a very good compromise," says Dion. "The idea that you're considering whether you will be subject to a misdemeanor or a felony, while at the same time sticking a needle into you're arm, was way too simplistic an assumption."

Under the compromise, felony charges for small amounts of certain drugs will only kick-in for Mainers who have already been convicted of a similar drug offense.

Just last week, three police departments in southern York County launched Community Access to Recovery programs, which allow addicts to come in for help without fear of facing charges. Dion says this is a positive trend.

"The soldiers on the front line of the drug war are telling you in very tangible ways," he says. "That enforcement alone isn't working."

Dion says the measure, LD 1554 became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage.

"I don't think he likes it. He's on the wrong side of this question," says Dion. "I think this is a time where we can now marry enforcement and treatment, and try to have a balanced approach to a very complex social question."

More than 130 police departments nationwide have adopted recovery approaches to dealing with addicts.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the Scarborough Police Department was the first in Maine to adopt the new approach.

get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)


SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …

Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …


CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …

According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

The right whale population has decreased by more than 100 animals since 2010. (Stephen Meese/Adobe Stock)


BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…


CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …

Health and Wellness

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Amid mixed national messaging on COVID-19 and masks, the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends students …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021