Maine Voters Could Decide on Marijuana Legalization in November

Maine Voters Could Decide on Marijuana Legalization in November

BANGOR, ME — Residents of Maine may get the opportunity to vote on ending their state’s marijuana prohibition this fall, if lawmakers approve of an amended version of LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana in the coming weeks.

LD 1229 was introduced earlier in the session by Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) and 35 co-sponsors. Despite the unprecedented legislative support, the measure faced a challenging work session last week, which initially looked as if it would scuttle the bill entirely.

Legalize Maine 2013Fortunately for supporters of ending prohibition, the fight continues on despite the negative recommendation out of committee. Representative Russell and the bill’s supporters intend to take the fight for legalization to the House floor in the coming weeks and they need our help.

Thanks to amendments offered by Senators Plummer and Wilson, LD 1229 was revised to contain only a simple referenda component.

If the amended bill is approved, it would place the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana on the ballot in Maine this fall.

It will be a straight up or down vote on marijuana legalization, regulatory authority will fall to the legislature if the people of Maine vote in favor of this measure.

If you live in Maine, it is more imperative than ever that you reach out to your elected officials and urge them to support LD 1229. Regardless of their opinion on marijuana legalization itself, they should support this legislation which would allow the people of Maine to voice their opinion on this incredibly important issue. Tell your state politicians to “Let the People Decide” and to support LD 1229.

Click here to quickly and easily do so.

Whether you live in Maine or not, we encourage you to sign this petition being circulated by the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Russell, and help us send a resounding message to lawmakers in Maine that it is time to let the people vote on this issue.

  • HumphreyPloughjogger

    Fascinating, the people are going to be asked to vote in a referendum about “legalization” of a plant the legislative prohibition of which is unconstitutional and when it comes to growing the plant for ‘marijuana’ and distributing that marijuana is virtually unenforceable and the enforcement that their is not worth the expense.

    • Mike

      All true. But democracy can be a complex thing.

      Given the wide public support and social trends it’s time to ask the people about this issue. The citizens were NEVER given a chance to vote on making it illegal. That was a wholly fabricated elite project.

      • HumphreyPloughjogger

        This is the wrong question to ask.
        Last I read Maine was not a democracy, but a Republic. I will assume you know the difference.
        I also assume you know that the only constitutional control of cannabis’s commodity known as marijuana is that the access of children to it be restricted.
        I also assume you know that the value of the other commodities produced by the cannabis plant are greater than the value of marijuana.
        Finally, I assume you know that there is no science that supports the proposition that hemp’s leaves and flowers must contain a very low percentage of THC.

        • Mike

          Well, if you want to argue about angels dancing on the head of a pin, go for it. I’m a lot less worried about what something is called than what it really is. Doesn’t matter to me how you get to legalization, so long as marijuana is legal when it’s over.

          And if you feel it’s more important to sit out on the whole thing because someone didn’t paint the room that folks are meeting in your favorite color, that’s cool, too. But it sure won’t help make weed legal.

    • Drew

      Who cares about the mechanics of it? We will get the chance to put another chink in the Drug War’s armor. Plus, Maine is within a day’s drive of 50 million Americans!

      That’s what is important, not semantics.

  • Drew

    Crossing my fingers this goes through. Maine is going to legalize, little question about that, but getting it onto the ballot this fall would speed things up by at least a year.

    Every day our momentum gets stronger!

    • HumphreyPloughjogger

      Which is exactly why we should not settle for a law that is ok, when we can have one that does what the constitution requires:

      free the cultivation of cannabis by adults,

      free commerce in the commodity marijuana by adults; and

      punishments designed to suppress underage access.

      Regulation that limits the number of persons who can grow, or engage in retail sale is not proper nor wise and will not end the black market. Do we impose such rules on maple syrup producers.

      • People

        alright you people are mis-informed. Nothing is free in the world. The reason why they are considering this AT ALL and may be the only reason why they are moving these bills forth is TO MAKE MONEY. America is in debt and wants fixing, wouldn’t you feel great knowing that your world , school, education systems , roads, rehab centres and the community will get fixed?
        2nd Do you see free commerce for anything these days? Obviously no.
        Everything is taxed deal with it stop being a bitch this is a HUGE step.
        and if you think about it a little more, you may be able to have free access to cannabis. How? Well look at tabacco, you need a permit to grow it, you need to pay tax for growing it, Yet people still grow it without these things. What if they get caught? they get a little fine. but once its legal who cares, no one will ‘tell on you’.
        use your brain.

        • HumphreyPloughjogger

          People, it is you who are deceived and therefore misinformed. You haven’t a clue about economics and the limits on the authority of the state and federal governments. You are therefore clueless as to the likely costs of enforcing Rep. Russell’s proposal let alone the precious lucre it may generate.

          Let me answer your rhetorical question. Contrary to your assertion everything is not taxed and this referendum if it happens in ME is not a HUGE step.

          I see free commerce in many things as “by” free I mean not subject to costly over regulation and license fees designed to require significant capital to enter the market as a producer or seller and excessive excise taxes ($50 bucks an ounce in my opinion is excessive) that encourage avoiding the tax, e.g., since you speak of tobacco (totally misinformed about the laws on growing it) are you aware that it is “smuggled” from low tax states into and sold in high tax states.

          I also see free commerce in the black market in marijuana with two significant defects. First, the prohibition provides those who would cultivate and sell marijuana a price support commensurate unrelated to the actual risk of capture, which I roughly calculate at a 1 in 30000 chance each year. Second, disputes cannot be resolved in government courts.

          People, if you want to eliminate America’s debt and want to improve state schools, roads, rehab centres and the community you would stop looking to LIBERAL or PROGRESSIVE ‘solutions’ that always call for more food for LEVIATHAN and support the RADICAL (a return to root) approach of putting LEVIATHAN on a strict weight loss diet.

  • Mike

    Ah, I see you and the cops are on the same page. Profiting from the black market while us regular folks fill up the jails. Sad, that is.

    I don’t live in Maine, but if the proposed legislation was the only legalization measure on the ballot, I’d vote for it. Is that better than NOT voting for it? Or being happy NOTHING was on the ballot?

    Don’t let the imperfect be the enemy of the good. Or you get nothing.

    The thing that has held this movement back all these years is illegality. As an activist, I’ve done more than my share for the cause, but I know it’s held me back from doing things organizationally because, ahem, well you know…

    See what I mean? We need to get whatever we can in a bill. Yes, critique it, try to make it better, but once it’s on the ballot, we just need to support it. Once things are out in the open, then we need to fight for our rights as citizens and consumers, which I’m sure will be far from fulfilled under whatever passes. One need only look at the gender rights community to see how this works. They’ve gone from being illegal to pretty significant political power in a short time. We’ve been there all along since the 60s, at least those of us old enough to have been there…and there are MILLIONS more of us than all of our LGBT brothers and sister combined.

    Pay attention here. This is very much about political power. You either use tactics that increase it or you suffer defeat at the hands of people who very much want to stop us. One way that happens is we spend more time worrying about getting things said just a certain way. Do that and the election will fly right past ya. It’s important here to build unity, not spend energy on divisiiveness.

    • HumphreyPloughjogger

      No Mike it is you who need to pay attention. Putting vague non-binding referendum on the ballot does nothing to build unity. Your resorting to name calling also does little to win me to your position. Nor does claiming one should not let the imperfect be the enemy of the good. That saying is not a truth. It is the thought of a slave and not a FREE HUMAN BEING. It is appeasement.

      Don’t know where you live but fact is in ME (<2.5 oz.) and MA (<28.3 gms.) possession is a civil violation (NO JAIL). Penalties for other cannabis offenses are relative to most other states lenient AND the risk of capture and conviction after capture leading to jail time are not filling state jails and prisons. In other words the marijuana consumer has very little to fear and the growers and distributors little to fear.

      Oh and BTW schwag has a far greater profit margin thanks to being grown outdoors and use of low paid workers than the local truly kind that abounds here in the NE.

      The fatal defect in the amended proposal is that it does not describe what legalization means and if adopted, unless the legislature votes to send any bond issues, Constitutional amendments or other referenda to the ballot will require ME spend money for a special election.

      Without such a description should the referendum pass any bill(s) to implement what that means will take years to pass.

  • Bobby

    I am a medical marijuana care provider and this is the best thing for the state of Maine. I myself have produced tons of local jobs for people in my community revolving around the cannabis plant.The time to legalize is now!!! whens its legal come visit my shop in Blue Hill it will be called Mainely Marijuana. Cheers

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