Recreational Marijuana in Houlton

A group of health providers, addiction services and concerned community members met to discuss the drug issue in Aroostook County.

“It’s a dream we’ve had for a while now, working with a lot of different community partners, including AMHC and offering support for our recovery community.”

Trudy Rairdon is co-chair of Link for Hope, a community-based coalition that’s working to enhance life in Southern Aroostook by reducing problems related to alcohol and drug use. This week’s meeting focused on the town of Houlton’s approval of allowing recreational marijuana use.

“I was, saddened when I heard about the ordinance that Houlton had proposed and passed, because to me it made it feel like the community was welcoming marijuana use.”

That’s not a message Link for Hope is supporting.

“Not to be anti-Houlton, not to be anti-business, but to be pro community, healthy community, supportive community.”

During the Link for Hope meeting the Houlton town council also was meeting. After that the committee met who is currently in the process of working out the details of the marijuana ordinance.

The ordinance the town council was cut and pasted from the medical marijuana ordinance. Now the committee is making changes on cultivating, manufacturing, retail sales, testing and social,l clubs when it comes to recreational marijuana.

“It does seem as though the cart had been put in front of the horse, in the sense that the State of Maine doesn’t have laws guiding the sale and the use of marijuana.”
One of the main concerns Link for Hope has with marijuana use is with those who are underage.

“That’s something that we worry about is when you do that it is not intended for youth consumption, but it’s certainly going to accidentally end up there. Tobacco is not intended for youth consumption and it does. Alcohol is not intended for youth consumption and it ends up in their hands.”

“We need to really educate ourselves, we need to develop strong prevention efforts to communicate to individuals and families, and children, what are the inherent risks of these chemicals.”

February 1st of 2018 has been set as a possible date people would be able to submit applications to grow marijuana in Houlton. In the meantime, members of Link for Hope say they’re eager to see what the State and Federal government does around the legalization.

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