Permission to medicate in Augusta Medical marijuana users turn out for Civic Center event

By Keith Edwards

HIGH TECH MACHINE: Jake McClure, of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, talks about indoor growing equipment in the Maine Hydroponics Supply booth during the Home Grown Maine trade show Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan

AUGUSTA — Medical marijuana users shared hits off a vaporizer and compared buds of their home-grown efforts Saturday, separated by just the thin vinyl wall of a tent and several feet of Augusta Civic Center parking lot from Augusta Police Sgt. Christopher Shaw.
The marijuana use taking place inside the tent was not why Shaw was there.
Police, Civic Center staff, the District Attorney’s Office and organizers of the first Home Grown Maine — the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine’s first ever trade show and festival — had agreed beforehand medicinal users with the proper legal documentation could use marijuana inside the tent erected in a parking lot of the city-owned Augusta Civic Center.
The event, and the designated spot on public property where marijuana could be used, in full view of passing law enforcement through the doorless entrance of the tent, and others, were firsts.
“This is the first time we’ve had permission to medicate in public, the first time,” said Chris Kenoyer, of Portland, a patients’ advocate and activist who uses marijuana for severe and chronic back pain caused by a degenerative spinal injury. “That’s a step forward for all Maine patients.”
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