South Portland pot debate

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The South Portland Police Chief did something he's never done before Wednesday night: stepped on stage and debated a political issue.

Chief Edward Googins argued that marijuana legalization would be harmful to the South Portland community, and asked voters to reject a pot referendum question this November.

Googins debated David Boyer, the Maine Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, at a debate organized by the South Portland School Department.

Boyer led the successful campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Portland, and has brought the campaign to South Portland and Lewiston.

"The facts are on our side," said Boyer, who has continued to frame the debate as an alcohol vs. marijuana conversation.

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Meet the man behind the Target standoff

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When Corbin Pratt gave himself up to police in South Portland on Monday night, after a three hour standoff, even he didn't anticipate how much attention he would get in the following days.

Susan Kimball, from our media partner the Portland Press Herald, got to talk with Pratt a day after the standoff and she has more on this young man who caused such a stir because he didn't want to leave his home.

Pratt has been in Maine for a couple of months, now. But, this story started earlier this summer. Pratt said he drove all that way from California to Maine in a school bus he bought on Craigslist. When he arrived in Maine in August, he continued to live in his bus, moving from parking lot to parking lot, including a four week stint at Walmart in Falmouth.

Push to legalize pot in South Portland intensifies

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins will participate in a debate Wednesday night at South Portland High School as the push to legalize pot in South Portland intensifies.

Googins will lay out his reasons why South Portland voters should 'say no to pot' starting at 7 p.m. Googins was recently quoted in a Bangor Daily News article saying that, "claims marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it's not even funny."

David Boyer, a pro-pot activist, is challenging Googins to what's being called a "drug duel." Boyer said he'll be at the Mill Creek Park Gazebo at high noon with "enough alcohol to kill a man." And he'll take a hit of pot for every shot Googins does.

There's no word on whether Googins will show up.

Anti-pot legalization signs stolen in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) Police are investigating after several anti-pot legalization signs have been vandalized or stolen.

The signs, which read "SoPo says No to Pot," only went up back on Thursday, according to pot opponents . Within minutes of being placed around South Portland, most of the signs had been stolen, they said. Volunteers replaced some of the stolen signs, which were then stolen a second time.

The group "Smart Approaches of Marijuana Maine" said none of the other elections signs in South Portland have been touched.
They claimed the signs opposing marijuana legalization are being specifically targeted.

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Man in custody following standoff with police in South Portland


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A man who barricaded himself in a bus in the Target parking lot in South Portland Monday has surrendered peacefully to police.

Police have charged 29-year-old Corbin Pratt of Oakland, California, with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.

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