(NaturalNews) One by one, like dominoes, cities and states all across the country are finally waking up to the fact that marijuana is a completely harmless plant with legitimate medicinal benefits and not the dangerous "drug" that the federal government still mindlessly claims it is. And the first place on the eastern seaboard to take this stand legally is Portland, Maine, which recently legalized possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana among adults 21 years of age and older.
Overwhelmingly passed in a 67 to 33 percent vote, according to the San Francisco Gate, Question 1 provisions that adults 21 years of age and older will now be allowed to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, as well as any paraphernalia needed to use it. The ordinance also allows adults 21 years of age and older to engage in activities for the purpose of ascertaining the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, which presumably implies the seeking out or purchasing of these items.
While Portland residents will not be allowed to use marijuana publicly in parks, they will be free to use it recreationally on private property, which is a huge victory for health freedom. And not only will police officers and city employees face penalties for trying to infringe the provisions of ordinance, but the city is also now an official supporter of reforming state law to legalize and regulate marijuana for all Mainers.
"Most Portlanders, like most Americans, are fed up with our nation's failed marijuana prohibition laws," says David Boyer from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a marijuana advocacy group, as quoted by The Huffington Post. "We applaud Portland voters for adopting a smarter marijuana policy, and we look forward to working with city officials to ensure it is implemented."
MPP is largely responsible for getting Question 1 passed in Portland, as the group invested heavily in a bus advertising campaign that presented the facts about marijuana. One bus ad, which features a respectable looking woman, reads, "I prefer marijuana over alcohol because it's less toxic, so there's no hangover. Why should I be punished for making the safer choice?"
"I think there's national implications, keeping the momentum that Washington and Colorado started last November in ending marijuana prohibition," adds Boyer. "This is just the next domino."
Legal marijuana states, cities will reap vast economic rewards at the expense of prohibition states
Like with Washington and Colorado, two states where recreational marijuana is now legal, Portland stands to become yet another destination for freedom lovers who are tired of the inane drug laws in other cities and states where marijuana is still illegal. Since marijuana is now one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., Colorado, Washington and now Portland stand to see major economic growth from this new boon, while all the rest of the hold-out states stand to flounder in ignorance.
"Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries. Domestically, we weren't able to find any market that is growing as quickly," stated Steve Berg, a former managing director at Wells Fargo and editor of the report "State of Legal Marijuana Markets," to The Huffington Post. "Entrepreneurs and private investors are flocking to cannabis markets. Those who really understand market dynamics will reap large rewards."
To get on board with the work of MPP in legalizing marijuana in your own state or community, visit: http://www.mpp.org.
You can also check out the work of NORML, another group working to reform marijuana laws nationwide: http://norml.org.