On an early Saturday morning in Gardiner, Maine, dozens of people walked out of their homes and cleaned the trash off of their streets. Yet, this was not just for their love of the environment, but for the free advertised marijuana.
People were informed of the Maine event ahead of time, along with city officials and the police chief. Participants were advised to not use cannabis in public while collecting trash for the event. This is because the public use of recreational marijuana is still illegal.
Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, got the idea of swapping a bag of trash for free marijuana from a town in Colorado that started a similar program. He told WCSH Maine, “They had a great response to this. So I was hoping to do the same thing in Maine.”
Meehan invited anyone over the age of 21 to visit his Maine medical marijuana dispensary and grab two trash bags. He proposed that for each bag of trash filled, the person would receive one gram of cannabis, which is a legal action in Maine.
Although Meehan and his family did not start this program just to help keep their town clean, he stated that they wanted to help inform and educate people about marijuana, which he described as a “life-changing substance.”
When you see this plant have an incredibly life changing impact on somebody that has given up on life, or somebody that has been given up on by modern medicine – and you can bring them back to life and give them a quality of life. It doesn’t just affect that patient, it affects every single person in the family.
Meehan, wanting to extend “the day of service” program across the state of Maine, posted a photograph that captured a dumpster overflowing with full trash bags. The caption read, “Anyone want to help do this statewide in one month or so?”
The businessman is aware that giving away free marijuana may not be good business practice, but said it is worth the sacrifice to help others.
Something that caregivers do all across Maine that very few people know about is that they make huge sacrifices every week to help others live a better quality of life.
During the event, some of the participants chose to clean the town and did not accept the offer of free marijuana. Since a gram of cannabis is a relatively small amount, Meehan believes the citizens of Maine took part in the clean up because they really care about their community.
Meehan expressed his satisfaction by saying, “It was a special thing to see people being selfless and giving their time on a really hot and sunny day.”
Advocacy groups and medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine have spent more than $265,000 on lobbyists to sway officials. Moreover, Teresa Pierce, co-chair of the legislature’s joint marijuana legalization implementation committee, said the overall idea is to learn from states like Colorado. Unfortunately, in recent years, 4.8 percent of the job applicants and employees in Maine have failed their drug tests, which is higher than the national average.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Click2Houston: Marijuana company seeks to clean city by gifting pot
Business Insider: Maine dispensary offering ‘weed for weeds’ to residents cleaning up the city
KGW.com: Clean trash off the street, get free weed in Maine
USA TODAY: Clean trash off the street, get free weed in Maine
Portland Press Herald: Dozens pick up Gardiner trash, with pot giveaways as incentive
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of MPCA Photos Flickr Page – Creative Commons License