Marijuana activist protests state’s pot laws for 23rd year in a row

Marijuana activist protests state’s pot laws for 23rd year in a row

Protest States pot law for 23 years in a row

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — For 23 years, Donald Christen has stood outside Somerset County Superior Court on Patriots Day to protest marijuana laws in the state.

He hopes this year is the last time he has to protest.

Late last month, 35 legislators co-sponsored a bill that would legalize recreational use of marijuana and regulate it like the alcohol industry. The bill is headed to a legislative committee hearing.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, would make major changes to Maine’s drug law, ranging from making possession of up to 2.5 ounces of pot legal to imposing a tax of $50 per ounce. It was referred to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on March 27.

“If it’s legal here in a few months because the Legislature takes care of it, then I’m done,” Christen said on Monday. “I’m going to be celebrating rather than [protesting].”

Christen, 59, of Madison was joined by five others on the courthouse steps as at least three Skowhegan police vehicles made routine visits along Court and High streets.

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