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A marijuana activist in Maine is challenging a local police chief to a "drug duel" — cannabis v. booze — to prove his point that pot is safer than alcohol.


A pair of ballot initiatives in the November midterm will allow voters in South Portland and nearby Lewiston to legalize possession of the drug for adults. Like a lot of cops, South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins doesn't think that's a good idea, and scoffs at one of the central arguments put forth by pot proponents.

"Claims that marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it’s not even funny," he told the Bangor Daily News last week, with no trace of humor in his voice.


Googins' statement prompted marijuana activist David Boyer to challenge him to the Wild West-style showdown.

Boyer asked the police chief to meet him on Wednesday at "the Mill Creek Park gazebo at high noon" where he will be waiting with "enough alcohol to kill a man." For every shot of alcohol consumed by the chief, Boyer says he'll take a hit of marijuana (discreetly, we presume).

Chief Googins, of course, isn't expected to show.

The two men are scheduled to debate the legalization initiative at South Portland High School later that night — and at least one of them will probably be sober.


Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.

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