PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The group that helped pass the referendum legalizing marijuana possession in the city of Portland is now targeting three more Maine communities.
The Marijuana Policy Project plans to test the water in three more communities York, South Portland and Lewiston, before its push for statewide legalization.
With 67-percent of the vote, the measure allowing adults to possess up to 2 and a half ounces of marijuana passed in Maine's largest city back in November. Now the Marijuana Policy Project will begin gathering signatures to try to get similar measures passed in three more communities.
Group members say they were delighted to hear recent comments by President Obama who said in an interview with New Yorker Magazine that he doesn't think marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol.
"We want to show this is something that is not unique to Portland, a city with a liberal reputation. We think Mainers across the state agree with President Obama that marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol and want to move forward with a sensible marijuana policy", said David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project.
Opponents say the interview made it clear that the President is not sold on legalization.
"He did express some issues that resonate with some of our concerns which is that legalization isn't going to solve any problems and in fact we think is going to create even more problems", said Scott Gagnon of Project SAM Maine.
This is a debate that will likely get underway in earnest during the summer months as the Marijuana Policy Project aims to get the questions on the November ballot.