Sheriffs join fight to oppose marijuana legalization in Maine

Sun Journal May 1, 2013

AUGUSTA (AP) — Four Maine sheriffs are joining community health care providers to stand against marijuana legalization efforts.

Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty, president of the Maine Sheriffs Association, said Tuesday that legalizing marijuana would damage communities.

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said marijuana use has negative effects on a developing brain.

Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant and Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett joined them.

The Kennebec Journal ( reported the sheriffs said marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to abuse of other substances. Liberty says many inmates at his jail on drug charges got their start with marijuana.

Bruce Campbell, program director at Wellspring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in Bangor, said marijuana use costs Maine almost $1.3 billion annually for health care, social services, criminal justice and loss of productivity.