TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Maine WCTU chapter takes low-key approach to abstinence

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 7:39 p.m.
 

PORTLAND, Maine — The mansion that serves as Maine headquarters of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union lay largely fallow until recently, with drug needles, liquor bottles and pornographic magazines littering the grounds.

In the state where Prohibition had its roots and in a city that just legalized recreational marijuana, the WCTU is overhauling the building and looking to reinvent itself.

Leaders of the organization, which is committed to abstinence, plan to take a lower-key approach, compared with the old days when crusading women terrorized saloon owners.

“We just want to bring a new passion here. It's not that we want to be self-righteous and condemn you because you're drinking or drugging or you're smoking pot,” said the Rev. David Perkins, who is working with his wife to restore the WCTU's Portland chapter. “It's not that. We want to love you but tell you that there are ill effects.”

Last week marked the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition and the legalization of marijuana in Portland, Maine's largest city.

In Portland, members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, weary of alcohol's harmful effects on families, harassed saloon operators by showing up with Bibles and singing hymns.

“They were formidable. They were the glass-smashers and boundary-breakers of their day,” Perkins said.

Last year, Perkins and his wife, Janet, the Portland chapter president, began the process of rebuilding the WCTU's local presence.

Substance abuse is an issue near and dear to them. Both have dealt with it in their families.

“We find that a lot of people who are on hard drugs had started with marijuana,” Janet Perkins said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Obama orders steeper emission cuts from power plants
  2. West Virginia on pace to issue record number of concealed-carry permits
  3. 5,000 homes in peril of Northern Calif. wildfire
  4. Phoenix man accused of beheading wife, dogs jailed on $2M bail
  5. Manhunt under way for suspect in Memphis officer’s killing
  6. Tent blows off mooring, kills 1 near Chicago
  7. GOP leaders aloof as Texas Attorney General Paxton indicted for securities fraud
  8. Wreckage from Challenger, Columbia goes on display
  9. Finish 44-year Hamtramck housing bias case soon, judge tells lawyers
  10. Veterans notified of info breach in South Dakota
  11. Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly