YORK — The York Board of Selectmen voted Monday to hold a public hearing July 28 on a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use in town.

The public hearing was prompted by a petition submitted last month by supporters of the Marijuana Policy Project, which helped pass a ballot initiative last year in Portland that legalized recreational marijuana use in the city by people 21 and older.

After the hearing, selectmen will either vote to put the question to voters in November, or do nothing. Petitioners would then have 30 days to collect enough signatures to equal 10 percent of the votes cast by town residents in the previous gubernatorial election. The question would then go to the November ballot without selectmen’s approval.

The discussion Monday was the board’s first since a petition was submitted June 19 to start the process of getting an ordinance on the November ballot. Marijuana activists are also collecting signatures in South Portland and Lewiston with the same goal of having residents vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over.

The York petition was submitted by resident Sherry DaBiere in an effort led by the Marijuana Policy Project. Town Clerk Mary-Anne Szeniawski said her office certified 174 signatures, well over the 100 required.

York, South Portland and Lewiston were chosen as test communities because they represent a wide spectrum of Mainers, according to supporters. After the group began collecting signatures, the South Portland City Council passed a nonbinding resolution opposing the legalization campaign.

The York proposal drew a mixed reaction from selectmen. Chairwoman Mary Andrews said she wanted a legal opinion from the town attorney about whether the proposed ordinance is lawful before moving forward, but Selectman Ronald Nowell said that didn’t matter because the town charter requires the board to put the issue to voters.

“Anything the voters vote on is lawful until a court decides otherwise,” Nowell said. “If the voters want to pass this, that’s what they want to do.”

Andrews and Selectman Robert Palmer Jr. voted against holding a public hearing on the petition on July 28. The ordinance proposed in York could allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, along with paraphernalia.

It would also require the community to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Users would be prohibited from consuming marijuana in public and from driving while under the influence of the drug.

During the meeting, three people spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance. DaBiere, who submitted the petition, said she saw first-hand the benefit of marijuana when her brother was dying of cancer. She encouraged selectmen to hold a public hearing, then allow residents to vote on the proposed ordinance. “It’s something I believe should happen in York,” she said.

David Boyer, head of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project, said he has talked to many people in York who support legalization, including a 94-year-old woman.

“People who support this come from all different backgrounds,” he said. “Why are we punishing adults who use marijuana when it is objectively safer than alcohol? Law enforcement has bigger fish to fry.”