WATERVILLE — Mayoral candidates discussed downtown revitalization, a proposal to change the traffic pattern downtown to two-way, whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city and how to effect a reasonable tax rate and still provide adequate services Tuesday night in a debate that drew 300 people. The debate at Thomas College allowed the audience to hear Mayor Nick Isgro and his challengers, Erik Thomas and John Levesque, talk about why they would be the best mayor for the city over the next three years.

As to whether Waterville should have marijuana dispensaries downtown, Levesque said he voted to legalize marijuana, but he is not sure he wants dispensaries downtown. Isgro said Waterville voted in favor of legalization and the council adopted an ordinance keeping dispensaries out of the downtown and away from churches and schools. Thomas, drawing laughter from the audience, said: “I have news for you, John, weed is being sold on the corners of your neighborhood.”

Thomas said there is a thriving black market for marijuana, so the state is not garnering the revenue.

“People did vote for it, and this is going to be a booming industry in Maine,” he said, adding that a policy should be developed and marijuana should be taken off the street.

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