Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 28, 2017
Retail marijuana? No thanks, Blue Hill voters say
307 citizens pass prohibition ordinances
by Anne Berleant
With 13 percent of registered voters casting ballots, Blue Hill opted to bar all retail marijuana in a September 26 referendum.
“I think it was a fairly decent turnout given our experience with these [types of] elections,” Selectman Jim Schatz said. “[And] a fair reflection of people’s concerns and issues around the whole law itself,” as it applies to Blue Hill.
The referendum timing was apt: a statewide public hearing was held the same day in Augusta. Reportedly, a special legislative session is next, to approve laws to regulate retail marijuana establishment statewide.
The Marijuana Legalization Act narrowly passed last November, allowing personal and retail use of marijuana as defined in the act.
Out of 2,408 registered voters, 307 cast ballots, including 41 absentee ballots.
The five questions, and
their results, asked in the
referendum were as follows:
Prohibit retail cultivation: Yes 177, No 130.
Prohibit retail testing facilities: Yes 175, No 132
Prohibit retail products manufacturing facilities:
Yes 181, No 126
Prohibit retail stores: Yes 194, No 113
Prohibit social clubs: Yes 206, No 101
“I think it’s important to put limits on the continuing availability of addicting and therefore destructive drugs,” resident Ted Hoskins said after casting his ballot.
Another voter, Dan Baker, said the ballot was “very clear and specific” in laying out what a Yes and No vote meant.
A third early voter, Elizabeth Conlon, said she came out of a sense of civic duty. “I always come vote, and always like to have a say.”