If legalized in Maine, pot still no-go in park



ACADIA NAT’L PARK — If Maine voters on Nov. 8 legalize the recreational use of marijuana by people 21 and older, the possession and use of pot will continue to be prohibited in Acadia National Park and all other federal facilities.

Actually, under federal law, it will still be illegal in Maine as it is everywhere else in the country. But the federal Department of Justice has chosen to turn a blind eye to the legalization of recreational marijuana by voters in four western states since 2012.

Twenty-five states, including Maine, allow the medical use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. But that, too, is still illegal under federal law.

Acadia spokesman John Kelly said that because the park is owned and operated by the federal government, it is bound to follow and enforce federal laws.

So, if Maine voters approve the legalization of the possession of marijuana for recreational use, Kelly said, “People should be very aware of the distinction between the park land and anywhere else.”

As for the park’s approach to enforcement of the federal ban on marijuana, Kelly said, “We’re not seeking it out in particular.

“Like with alcohol, impaired driving is of most concern. So, on a car stop, any park ranger would be cognizant of any type of impairment, whether from marijuana, alcohol or any other substance. It’s part of that type of safety enforcement for visitors.”

The proposed state law that Mainers will vote on Nov. 8 would allow the consumption of marijuana only in homes and other “nonpublic places.” It would permit the possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of prepared marijuana. The law would provide for state licensure of retail marijuana stores and place a 10 percent sales tax on the sale of marijuana and related products.

 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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