We applaud the decision by the citizens of Thorndike at their special town meeting Jan. 16 to reject a proposed six-month moratorium on adult-use marijuana sales and other pot businesses, after they had already agreed to allow such businesses at their town meeting last August.

We also congratulate them for showing up in such numbers, with about 100 residents attending, out of a population of 900.

The moratorium was proposed by selectmen, who claimed they needed time to study the state statute on marijuana businesses in order to craft a town-specific ordinance. The moratorium proposal came after a pot grower had invested a significant amount of money in developing an operation in town. Nova Farms Director of Cultivation Dennis Ebert said the company has about $60,000 invested in the development so far. Nova now lacks only state and town permits to be able to finalize the development of its business.

Apparently, selectmen thought that if they did not sign and send in the finalizing paperwork after the town meeting vote, the town was not opted in and they would have time to develop an ordinance. This appears to us to have been a deliberate effort to thwart the will of the town's voters.

Former selectman Josh Ard told The Republican Journal that it was very clear at town meeting that opting into the state's marijuana legislation meant that businesses could apply for licenses and the town could use the state’s regulations rather than developing its own.

Ebert said at the special town meeting he is glad the town voted the moratorium down, saving Nova Farms from having to take potential legal action against the town to seek an exemption from the moratorium. The selectmen should thank their constituents for allowing the town to dodge this legal bullet.

Sprague should be held accountable for spill

We support the town of Islesboro, along with the Islesboro Island Trust, for asking the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to hold Sprague Energy accountable for the Dec. 2 spill of plastic waste into Penobscot Bay, which Sprague did not immediately report to the state, or attempt to clean up.

The town and the land trust in the last week or two have sent letters to DEP calling for "zero tolerance" for plastic waste in Maine's ocean waters. The pollution threatens the local fishing industry, tourism and marine life, and should be prevented from recurring.

Sprague officials declined to comment when asked why the spill was not reported right away.

Islesboro Island Trust sets out a number of concerns about plastic pollution of the ocean, including harm to marine life, the illegality of the spill and the possible adverse effect on fishing and other industries. The trust calls on DEP to sanction Sprague for not immediately reporting the spill, and to develop protocols "that ensure thorough, rapid and effective clean-up" of future spills.

We agree, and hope the state will take these calls to heart.