Maine's Public Safety Commissioner: Maine can keep pot illegal and avoid making the same mistake as Colorado
I’ve spent my 50-year career in public safety and the military trying to protect and keep people safe. Some of the most challenging things I have dealt with were not actions of individuals but the consequences of political decisions. With Question 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana, you get to decide whether this law goes into effect. If it does, I can assure you the unintended consequences will be many.
As a naval officer during the Vietnam War, I saw young men devolve into addiction — first with marijuana and then with harder drugs such as heroin. As Waterville police chief, I saw parents neglect their children and watched as young people let their ambitions wallow in a haze of marijuana smoke. As commissioner of public safety, which includes Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Maine fire marshal’s office, I read reports almost daily about marijuana-related incidents, crashes and crimes.
Among all the false claims made by the pro-legalization campaign, advocates have said police officers need to spend less time going after marijuana users and more time arresting serious criminals. Let’s be clear: Marijuana is already decriminalized in Maine. Offenders receive a citation. They are not arrested for simple possession, and marijuana possession is a very low priority for police officers. Click here to read more....