YORK (WGME) — Local voters made the choice last year to legalize marijuana possession in the City of Portland. This, even though it is against the law in Maine. Now, voters in two more southern Maine cities will soon decide if they want to do the same. But before you cast your vote, here are some of the arguments for and against legalizing marijuana.

Gina Brodsky is York High School’s substance abuse counselor. She says she sees first-hand what marijuana is doing to teens. Brodsky says “Regular marijuana use is becoming pervasive among the kids who are struggling. I see kids who are developing amotivational syndrome; which is a lack of focus, a lack of follow through.”

That’s because a teenager’s brain is still developing. And Brodsky says it can lead to addiction and worse; including she says “Anxiety, depression, the development of schizophrenia.” David Boyer, who supports legalizing marijuana, agrees marijuana is harmful to teens. He says “Marijuana is not good for the developing brain.”

Gina Brodsky argues teens are four times more likely to become addicted to marijuana. And she says many go on to try other drugs. She says marijuana is “Absolutely a gateway drug.” But David Boyer insists “The majority of people that try and use marijuana don’t move on to harder substances and don’t get addicted to it.”

Boyer says he supports legalizing marijuana, in part, to try and keep pot out of the hands of teens. He says “Marijuana is not without its potential harms. And if we want kids not to use it, we need to regulate it.” Boyer, the state political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, says right now it’s too easy for teens to buy pot.

He says “There’s no control. You get it from drug dealers and drug dealers don’t card or ID.” He …read more