Marijuana is Now Legal in Maine as Question 1 Takes Effect

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine officially takes effect today, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“Maine voters made it clear that it’s time to end the failed and costly policy of punishing adults for their choice to responsibly use marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, an attorney with the Yes on 1 campaign. “This is a win for personal privacy, personal…

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Marijuana Possession Officially Becomes Legal in Maine on Monday

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to legalize marijuana in Maine will officially take effect on Monday, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“The era of marijuana prohibition in Maine is finally coming to an end,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer…

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New Market: Maine’s tourism industry a potential boon for rec MJ businesses

Maine flag

This is the eighth article in a series looking at the potential cannabis market in each of the eight states that approved recreational or medical marijuana initiatives in the 2016 election. Click here for previous installments.

By Bart Schaneman

Buoyed by the state’s reputation as an East Coast tourist mecca with a dramatic coastline, the recreational marijuana market in Maine should generate plenty of opportunities for cannabis businesses – provided delays don’t hamper the industry’s rollout.

In a close vote last November, 50.26% of…

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Lawmakers Try to Delay Enactment of Voter Approved Marijuana Laws

Legislators in a number of states are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of several voter-initiated marijuana laws.

In Arkansas, House lawmakers are moving forward with legislation, House Bill 1026, to postpone the deadline for establishing the state’s new medical marijuana program by 60 days. Fifty-three percent of voters approved Issue 6 on Election Day, which called on lawmakers to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis within 120 days.

In…

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Bill Filed to Delay Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Law

AUGUSTA, ME — Bipartisan lawmakers in Maine have filed a bill that would delay most of the implementation of Question 1, which legalized marijuana in Maine, by over a year.

The bill, House Bill 88, was introduced Wednesday by state Rep.  Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) and Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Winterport).

The proposal would delay the implementation of most of Question 1 until February 1, 2018, including establishing a framework for a retail cannabis industry in…

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Maine: Recount Effort Halted, Question 1 Victory Stands

The group opposing Maine’s marijuana legalization initiative has withdrawn its recount effort.

Last month, representatives from ‘No on 1’ requested a recount of the vote totals specific to Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. On Saturday, the campaign conceded that the recount would not impact the Election Day result, which estimated Question 1 winning by slightly over 4,000 votes.

The measure is now expected to be enacted 30 days after Gov. Paul…

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Marijuana Legalization Opponents Drop Maine Question 1 Recount

AUGUSTA, ME — Opponents of Maine’s Question 1, which was narrowly approved by voters in November, dropped their recount request on Saturday.  With the recount challenge dropped, marijuana will become legal for adults 21 or older to possess early next year.

The recount had been underway for two weeks, with no significant change to the vote tally for either side.  Had opponents not withdrawn their request, the recount could have taken up to a month to complete, leaving…

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Maine Governor Wants to ‘Get Rid’ of Medical Marijuana Program

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R). LePage said after the election that he intends to ask President-elect Donald Trump to enforce federal marijuana laws in Maine to prevent the state from legalizing marijuana.

Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage has never been a fan of marijuana reform, and on Thursday he suggested that the state’s medical marijuana program should be eliminated now that voters have approved legalizing recreational marijuana.

Speaking on the Portland’s 

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Recount Update: No Significant Change; ‘Colossal’ Waste of Time & Money, Supporters Say

AUGUSTA, ME — As the recount on Maine’s Question 1 enters it’s seventh day with no significant changes to the election results, supporters of the voter-approved measure are once again calling on opponents to drop the recount, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

So far, the recount has not uncovered any evidence of election fraud, or any indication that continuing to recount will make any meaningful difference in the election total.

As of Tuesday morning, over 150,000…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Vote Recount to Begin Monday

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AUGUSTA, ME — A formal recount of the results of Question 1, which legalizes marijuana in Maine, is set to begin Monday and will take four to six weeks and cost taxpayers up to half a million dollars, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Maine was one of four states where voters approved measures to legalize the adult, recreational use of marijuana on election day.  Prohibitionist opponents of Qustion 1 requested the recount after unofficial results showed the…

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Sore Losers: Some State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

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Political leaders in several states are threatening to thwart the implementation of voter-approved initiatives specific to the regulation of marijuana.

In Massachusetts, where voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent on election day to legalize the cultivation, use, and retail sale of cannabis by adults, politicians have suggested amending the law and delaying its implementation. Specifically, lawmakers have called for pushing back the date when adults may legally begin growing…

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Voters In Eight States Approve Marijuana Law Reform In Unprecedented Election Victories

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WASHINGTON, DC — Millions of Americans cast votes on Election Day in favor of sweeping statewide marijuana law reforms.

Voters in four states: California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved ballot measures legalizing the adult use of cannabis and licensing its commercial production and retail sale. Voters in four additional states: Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota approved initiatives legalizing and/or expanding the use and dispensing of cannabis for therapeutic…

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Four States End Marijuana Prohibition, Three Adopt Medical Marijuana Laws in Historic Election

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WASHINGTON — California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to end marijuana prohibition and Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota adopted medical marijuana laws Tuesday in the most momentous election to date for marijuana policy reform.

Montana approved an initiative to re-establish patients’ access to medical marijuana providers, which was hindered by state lawmakers, and create a more regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution.

As of 4:30…

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Maine Voters Legalize Marijuana for Adult Use

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PORTLAND, Maine — Maine voters have approved Question 1, a ballot measure to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use. The Yes on 1 campaign will hold a news conference today at 11 a.m. in front of Portland City Hall (389 Congress Street) to discuss the next steps and timeline for implementing the initiative.

Question 1 makes possession and home-growing of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older; it creates a tightly controlled…

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Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night

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This Election Day was a watershed moment for the movement to end marijuana prohibition, with the results expected to accelerate efforts to legalize marijuana in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and internationally.  Overall, legalization initiatives prevailed in four out of five states, and medical marijuana initiatives prevailed in all four states this year.

Votes are still being counted for legalization initiatives in Maine and Arizona, as well as for a medical…

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Latest Polling Information for the 2016 Marijuana Related Ballot Proposals

Election-2016

On Tuesday, November 8, nine states will be voting on marijuana related ballot proposals potentially doubling the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and expanding the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans. Here’s where these measures stand in the latest polls.

Arizona: According to an October Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite poll, 50 percent of registered voters in Arizona favor Proposition 205 and 42 percent oppose it. The…

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Election 2016: Marijuana Law Reform Takes Center Stage

Election-2016

This Election Day is shaping up to be a watershed moment for efforts to end marijuana prohibition, with five states voting on marijuana legalization and four more on medical marijuana. The results are expected to have major ramifications for marijuana law reform in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and even internationally.

A recent nationwide Gallup poll found that a record 60 percent of respondents support legalizing marijuana, but polls on this year’s…

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Gallup: Record High Percentage Of Americans Back Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana grows legally in Colorado. (Brett Levin via Flickr)

Marijuana grows legally in Colorado. (Brett Levin via Flickr)

Sixty percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be legal,” according to nationwide polling data released Wednesday by Gallup. The percentage is the highest level of support ever reported by the polling group, and represents more than a doubling in public support over the past two decades.

The data closely follows the release of polling data compiled by the Pew Research Center showing…

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Marijuana Legalization: Recreational Use Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Marijuana Legalization: Recreational Use Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

WASHINGTON, DC — Voters are supportive of five pending ballot measures that seek to regulate the adult use and sale of marijuana, according to recent polling data compiled in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

Half of Arizona voters intend to vote ‘yes’ in favor of Proposition 205: The Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. Forty percent of voters oppose the initiative. The Act allows adults age 21 and older to possess and to privately…

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Maine rec cannabis legalization backers outspend opponents 26-1

Supporters of the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine have overwhelmed their opponents in fundraising.

Backers of Question 1, as the legalization initiative is called, have raised $1.3 million this year, more than 26 times the opposition, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The legalization effort has attracted contributions from some heavy hitters.


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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group pushing Question 1, reported raising $904,145 in cash contributions during the reporting period ended Wednesday,…

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Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Voters favor legalizing the adult use of cannabis in the five states where the issue will appear on the ballot this Election Day. Here is a summary of the latest polling data.

ARIZONA: Half of Arizona voters intend to vote ‘yes’ in favor of Proposition 205: The Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. Forty percent of voters oppose the initiative. The Act allows adults age 21 and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (up…

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Poll Finds Majority of Maine Voters Support Marijuana Legalization Question 1

Poll Finds Majority of Maine Voters Support Marijuana Legalization Question 1

Maine is one of five states voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in November.

PORTLAND, ME — Maine voters are likely to approve Question 1 in November, which will legalize the adult use of marijuana in the state, according to the results of the latest poll.

According to the Portland Press Herald poll released Monday, 53% of statewide voters support.  Only 38% of voters were opposed.

“Every indication so far has been moving in favor of legalization (nationally) and I think that is indicated by the large number of states…

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After Nearly 80 Years of Marijuana Prohibition, the Tide is Turning

After Nearly 80 Years of Marijuana Prohibition, the Tide is Turning

As marijuana legalization gains traction across the country, some ask “Why now?” A better question perhaps is “How did this prohibition ever last so long?”

People have always suffered the compulsion to hunt scapegoats, and politicians are more than happy to pander to our harshest instincts. With two world wars and the Cold War, the 20th Century in particular, was a time of fear, with a hunger for social control and conformity. The malignant belief of the Communists and other totalitarians in the perfectibility of humanity at any…

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These 5 States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

These 5 States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan last week certified a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot, setting the stage for a national election that will see the issue go directly to the voters in five states, including California, the nation’s most populous.

Four states have already legalized marijuana at the ballot box, Colorado and Washington in 2012 and Alaska and Oregon in 2014. The District of Columbia also legalized marijuana—but not commercial sales—in 2014.

But those states combined only have a population…

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Maine: Marijuana Legalization is Ballot Question 1

Maine: Marijuana Legalization is Ballot Question 1

Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine Will Appear on Ballot as Question 1

AUGUSTA, ME — Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announced Monday that the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine will appear on the ballot as Question 1.

The secretary of state set the final wording of the ballot question last week.

It reads, “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of…

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Maine Marijuana Regulation Initiative Cleared for November Ballot

Maine Marijuana Regulation Initiative Cleared for November Ballot

It’s finally official. Maine voters will decide on Election Day on a statewide ballot measure seeking to regulate the adult use, retail sale, and commercial production of cannabis.

The Secretary of State determined Wednesday that initiative proponents, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, gathered a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. The office had previously attempted to invalidate a significant portion of proponents’ signatures, but that effort was

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative Officially Qualifies for November Ballot

Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative Officially Qualifies for November Ballot

After a court-ordered review of petitions that it had previously invalidated, the Secretary of State’s Office determined initiative supporters submitted more than enough valid signatures to qualify

AUGUSTA, ME — State officials announced Wednesday that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol…

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Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge found that state officials erred when they disqualified thousands of petitions — including more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing them

AUGUSTA, ME — A Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that state officials may have improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to regulate marijuana…

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Backers to File Lawsuit Challenging Disqualification of Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Backers to File Lawsuit Challenging Disqualification of Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine to File Lawsuit Today Challenging the Secretary of State’s Decision to Disqualify the Measure from the November Ballot

PORTLAND, ME — Backers of an initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine will file a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday that challenges the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify the measure from the November ballot.

Last week, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office announced that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition…

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Lawsuit Filed Challenging Disqualification of Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Disqualification of Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative

PORTLAND, ME— Backers of an initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine filed a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify the measure from the November ballot.

According to the suit, state officials improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on the measure.

Campaign leader David Boyer and attorney Scott Anderson announced the details of the suit at a news…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaign Fighting Ballot Disqualification

Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaign Fighting Ballot Disqualification

On Wednesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine was notified that their ballot measure had failed to qualify for the ballot.

The campaign turned in 99,229 signatures in February, but were told that nearly half of them were invalid. However, more than 17,000 valid signatures, more than enough to make the measure qualify for the ballot, were not counted. The reason: a handwriting technicality.

Supporters are not going to let the state take away the political voices of thousands of residents, and are appealing the…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative Fails to Make Ballot Due to “Handwriting Technicality”

Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative Fails to Make Ballot Due to “Handwriting Technicality”

MPP-backed initiative falls over 10,000 signatures short; over 17,000 signatures deemed invalid due to a “handwriting technicality”

AUGUSTA, ME — Voters in Maine will not have the opportunity to legalize marijuana in November after a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition failed to qualify for the 2016 ballot.

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office announced Wednesday that the proposal fell just over 10,000 signatures short, needing 61,123 valid signatures to qualify but had only 51,543 certified as valid.

Backers, however,…

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Maine Now Poised to Vote for Marijuana Legalization This November

Maine Now Poised to Vote for Marijuana Legalization This November

It looks like Mainers will be voting on legalization in November. Monday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in more than 103,000 raw signatures for its petition drive. It only needs 61,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

As a general rule of thumb, initiative and referendum experts counsel petitioners to expect a certain percentage of raw signatures to be deemed invalid, but that figure is usually around 25% to 30%. For this petition drive to fail, more than 40% would have to be found invalid….

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Maine: Marijuana Legalization Poised for November Ballot

Maine: Marijuana Legalization Poised for November Ballot

FALMOUTH, ME — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will submit its petitions to state officials today in support of a ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine.

The campaign collected 103,115 total signatures and needs at least 61,123 valid signatures of registered Maine voters to qualify for the November ballot.

Voters from over 400 Maine towns signed the petition.

“Over the past eight months, we’ve talked to…

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Marijuana Legalization 2016: Is It Better Than Prohibition?

Marijuana Legalization 2016: Is It Better Than Prohibition?

The test should be, “Is it better than Prohibition.” Does the proposal stop the arrest of smokers and establish a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana?

As we look forward to what should be a fantastically successful year for marijuana legalization, it is important that those of us who support legalization join arms and move forward in a unified manner. All political progress requires some measure of compromise, and legalizing marijuana is no exception.

Each state that legalizes marijuana, at least during this early…

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Final Push Needed for Maine Marijuana Legalization Effort

Final Push Needed for Maine Marijuana Legalization Effort

PORTLAND, MAINE — Maine could very well become one of the next states to legalize marijuana this November, but a final push is needed to collect about 15,000 signatures by the end of the month.

As of Tuesday, the joint effort by local activists from Legalize Maine and the MPP-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine has collected approximately 80,000 signatures.

Activists hope to collect a total of 95,000 signatures by January 25.  In order for their initiative to appear on the November ballot, a total of 61,126 of…

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2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

Marijuana legalization initiative campaigns aiming at November 2016 are underway in nearly a dozen states. Here’s a look at what’s likely to pass and what isn’t.

Marijuana is going to be part of the political conversation between now and Election Day 2016. Support for legalization is now consistently polling above 50% nationwide, four states and DC have already voted to legalize it, and activists at least ten states are doing their best to make it an issue this time around.

In those states, they’re working to take marijuana legalization directly to the voters in the form of initiatives. Not all of those efforts will actually make the ballot — mass signature-gathering campaigns require not only enthusiasm but cold, hard cash to succeed — and not all of those that qualify will…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaign Raises Over $53,000 to Support 2016 Ballot Initiative

Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaign Raises Over $53,000 to Support 2016 Ballot Initiative

FALMOUTH, ME — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol reported Wednesday that it raised $53,011 in the second quarter of 2015 in support of a ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine.

“Mainers are clearly excited about the opportunity to end marijuana prohibition,” said campaign manager David Boyer. “Most people agree that it’s time for our state to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy, and that’s exactly what we’re proposing. Regulating marijuana and taxing it like alcohol just makes sense.”

Maine residents accounted for more than 90% of the 190 total contributions that were made to the committee during the three-month period. The largest contribution, $50,000, was made by the Marijuana Policy Project, which has more than 200,000-plus supporters…

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Second Marijuana Legalization Drive Begins in Maine

Second Marijuana Legalization Drive Begins in Maine

PORTLAND, ME — A second signature drive to place a proposal to legalize marijuana in Maine on the 2016 ballot began Thursday after getting the green light to begin gathering signatures earlier this week.

Regulate Marijuana in Maine 2016The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backed by the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, held a press conference at Monument Square in Portland to kick off the signature drive Thursday.  The campaign was given approval by state officials to begin collecting signatures earlier this week.

“We’re excited to get out…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Bill Rejected by Key Committee

Maine Marijuana Legalization Bill Rejected by Key Committee

AUGUSTA, ME — A key legislative committee in Maine voted Thursday to reject a bill to legalize up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 or older, and create a regulatory system for legalized retail sales.  The bill would impose a 10% tax on retail marijuana sales.

Hours of negotiations and compromises between committee members by the bill’s sponsors were unable to sway the legislature’s Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, who voted 6-3 to reject LD 1380, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) and nearly a…

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