Shenna Bellows on Drugs
On its face, the strategy has merit. Both marijuana and privacy concerns raised by the National Security Agency scandals attract anti-Washington voters from liberals to libertarians.
Portland, Maine's largest city, legalized recreational marijuana overwhelmingly last year, but the state legislature has opposed measures to legalize, tax and regulate the drug. It has, however, allowed medical marijuana since 1999. "There is widespread support for more sensible drug-reform policy," says Bellows, who sells herself as a "daughter of a carpenter," raised without running water or electricity.
Two marijuana-advocacy groups have endorsed her--the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
Maine politicians largely would not commit either way on the issue. Sen. Collins' office did not respond to subsequent questions about whether she would support legalization. She has avoided taking sides in statewide referendum campaigns in the past.
Collins' opponent in this year's election, meanwhile, strongly supports legalization and indicated Monday that she plans to discuss the issue on the campaign trail. "When you have the past three US presidents acknowledging marijuana use while our country locks up record numbers of primarily black and low-income young men, then something is dramatically wrong and we need change," Shenna Bellows said. "Legalization will benefit our economy and civil rights."
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