For a small town trying to establish its place in Maine, recreational marijuana seems like the wrong way to go for some, but to others it’s a way to make money.

Charles Schaefer, a resident of Unity for 30 years, agrees with the former group so he proposed an ordinance that would ban recreational marijuana establishments in his town.

In the ordinance, establishments are defined as stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and social clubs. It’s similar to the ban enacted by Oakland in December, which is what Schaefer said he used as a template.

Schaefer, along with a group of people who feel the same way, worked on the ordinance and brought the proposal to the Board of Selectmen in December, he said.

On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., the town will hold a public hearing on the issue at the Unity Community Center. Residents will vote on the ordinance at the annual town meeting.

In Unity, the majority of voters did not approve Question 1, which passed statewide by a small margin and made it legal for adults 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. It also legalized recreational marijuana establishments.

According to Schaefer, the measure was defeated by 71 votes in Unity and 759 in Waldo County.

Selectman Emily Newell said the board hasn’t made a recommendation on the ordinance yet because it wants to hear from residents first.

Richard Booth, one of the people who helped Schaefer with the ban, said he is “against the legalization, period.”

“Recently Unity was identified by a Downeast magazine publication as being one of the best places in Maine to live,” Booth said. “I don’t think that having retail marijuana facilities in Unity would help that effort. I think that would harm it.”

Jean Bourg opposes the ordinance.

“The ordinance makes no sense from an economic development perspective. Marijuana is an up and coming industry for farmers and processors. It’s a jobs creator and tax revenue generator,” she said in an email.

Bourg also points out that Unity’s ordinance requires businesses to stay in the downtown area, which would make it easier for officials to keep an eye on them. She also said that forbidding things like this “haven’t worked in the past.”

“This could be a good thing. The more other towns ban it, the more Unity succeeds,” Bourg said in an interview. “We need the business in town, and I don’t find it objectionable at all. You know, it’s a new era.”

But Ted Swanson, who’s lived in Unity for about 46 years, says there’s “enough vices in the world” without marijuana.

“I’ve got a granddaughter, and I don’t think any of this stuff should filter down to her,” Swanson said. He also worries about people driving while impaired and what effects it could have on people’s health, he said.

Swanson said he used to smoke cigarettes but is glad he quit.

“If you inhale it into your lungs like those that do smoke marijuana … it must do some damage to you,” he said.

Swanson also doubts whether the town will see any of the promised tax revenue, he said.

“A lot of people are thinking that the dollar signs are in their favor, and oh, it’s gonna help our town, but I don’t know,” he said. ” It’d be a long time before you saw anything helpful.”

Mostly, Swanson doesn’t think this is what Unity should be known for.

“I don’t want people to come to my town as a destination because I have marijuana,” he said.

Madeline St. Amour can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

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Twitter: madelinestamour