Marijuana petition article approved
Provincetown - Voters inhaled and then approved a nonbinding resolution to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana last night at town meeting.
The citizen-petition article was brought forward by resident Barbara Rushmore, who said she was interested in reducing police overtime costs associated with officers appearing in Orleans District Court for prosecution of minor marijuana cases.
The article directs the town to ask Police Chief Ted Meyer to have his department issue $50 tickets for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Last week, Meyer said a change in state law would be necessary to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession.
''That would probably only occur at a meeting in a smoke-filled room,'' Selectman Richard Olson joked last night.
Rushmore argued that approving the resolution would send a strong message, and said that Provincetown had taken the lead on many issues in the past.
''We eliminated pay toilets, and it was then spread all over the country,'' said Rushmore, unintentionally getting a big laugh from the town meeting floor.
The resolution was approved by a vote of 120-69. Selectmen Dr. Cheryl Andrews and Michele Couture voted in favor of the resolution.By Eric Williams