Today news is spreading quickly through the cannabis community that Portland, Maine has legalized possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use among citizens 21+. This is not only a huge step for man, but a huge leap for humanity, and here's why:
1. Momentum - everyone on the east coast figured that recreational marijuana legalization would remain on the west coast, at least for a while, what with Washington and Colorado being the only two fully recreational-legal states. Those of us watching the laws have been holding our breath wondering which place would be the first. Maine was already a mmj-legal state.
2. Heat - Maine is really cold -- the lowest recorded temperature was -39 degrees. Spark it up, reduce your heating costs.
3. Portland though? - Portland is not a huge city -- I woke my boyfriend up about half an hour ago screaming when I read the news on the Huffington Post this morning and he said something like "isn't that in Oregon? We're definitely not going all the way to Oregon for this" and turned over. It's actually pretty true to how east coasters and Americans in general think of Maine and the city of Portland -- they don't. (Oregon's Portland is actually named after Maine's, but Maine was kind of forgotten afterwards.)
4. Demographic change - Portland is a family city with lots of hard workers, which can help us push the very true idea that successful stoners exist.
5. Public advertisement - to spread news about Question 1, voters had pro-marijuana advertisements everywhere, including in very public places -- like the side of a bus, which caused a stir. I'm sure we'll get to see some fascinating commercials soon enough.
6. Munchies - Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other US city. It's quite possible nothing will change about most Portland citizens' everyday lives, and maybe they've been hiding their pothead parties all along.
7. Art - Portland is known for its artists -- I'm sure we'll be seeing some more amazing art very quickly.
8. Dot on the map - The cloud flying over Portland today is a symbolic flag bearing for all stoney Americans. Portland is the "top city for empty nesters," third gayest city in America, and one of the "coolest small cities in America" -- now it gets to be one of the highest!
9. Marijuana moonshiners? - Portland is already home to many micro-breweries -- companies that make their own beer recipes in small batches to enjoy for themselves. It's possible that under this logic there are already growers who have been honing the marijuana plant for years or decades to bring some of the strongest and most potent marijuana in the US to life. Call them micro-greenhouses, I guess.
10. Education - New England is famous for its intelligent breed, with Boston not far from Portland and home to MIT, Harvard, and many other incredibly prestigious and competitive colleges. Boston will hopefully follow the lead of Portland, and then the most famous Ivy league colleges in the world will have a bunch of public pot smoking geniuses. This is what we need to keep this going.
11. Tourism - for those of you suddenly interested in what Portland, Maine has to offer its visitors, there are mountains, lakes, fishing opportunities, historical buildings and museums, fancy restaurants, parks, and an art district available to offer tourists.
While the law is largely symbolic -- it has not outlined even how marijuana is supposed to legally arrive in the city, with no mention of recreational dispensaries or shops -- but it's a start nonetheless.
Don't forget to call your local representatives to inquire that they look into legalization for your area, and also send a thank you to the leaders of Portland thanking them for all they've done for the movement.
What do you greenies think? Anyone from Maine around the site? What does the Portland's legalization mean to you? Please respond in the comments below, and don't forget to subscribe to the HMJ weekly newsletter by email! Stay high!