Maine bill seeks changes in pot law

Posted Feb. 25, 2009, at 2:14 p.m.

AUGUSTA — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Chiefs of Police Association are opposing a bill to modify possession limits and fines for marijuana possession.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing Wednesday on Rep. Patsy Crockett’s bill. The Augusta Democrat said her bill would streamline and clarify marijuana laws.

The bill would make possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana a civil violation.

today’s poll

Do you think the possession of a small amount of marijuana should be a criminal offense?

Yes

No

Possession of up to 1¼ ounce would remain punishable by a $350 fine. For possession of 1¼ to 4 ounces, the fine would be $700, with higher fines for second and subsequent offenses.

The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supported the bill, saying it increases fines while recognizing that possession of up to 4 ounces should be a civil offense and not a crime.

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