Since the enactment of the Maine Medical Marijuana Act of 1998, qualified patients in the state have had the right, if not always the ability, to grow or access cannabis to treat their ailments.

Under the state law, six plants are allowed for patients, who can choose to grow their own or assign a designated caregiver to cultivate on their behalf. Caregivers are allowed up to five patients (six including themselves), and certified growers with more than two patients can have their gardens visited at any time by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, who oversee and regulate the state’s medical marijuana system.

Now, with a vote tomorrow in Portland to legalize pot for recreational use, Maine is poised to eventually become the third state in the union to do so. Since this vote is a citywide initiative and not binding for the rest of the state, it will have the most impact on other legalization efforts on the entire East Coast, particularly in New England.

We at HIGH TIMES urge the citizens of Portland, Maine to vote Yes on One in favor of legalizing up to 2.5 ounces for anyone over 21.

It seems that many Portland politicians and businesspeople agree. Rep. Diane Russell says “Under Prohibition, more than 80% of high school seniors have attested for nearly four decades they have easy access to marijuana, and 38% of Maine high school students confirmed recently they had tried marijuana at least once. It’s time to stop rewarding drug lords and start protecting our kids with a strong regulatory structure that tracks the product, sets standards of quality and potency, and enforces compliance checks to stop underage sales.”

Alysia Zoidis, owner of East End Cupcakes on Fore Street in Portland explained that as a small business owner, her job is to bring in new revenue. Legalizing marijuana would bring in new revenue to the state, which could provide necessary services that have been cut in recent years.