maine marijuana campaign 2016
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

‘Mainers Protecting Our Youth And Communities’ Launches To Oppose Marijuana Legalization

maine marijuana campaign 2016Marijuana opponents will do just about whatever it takes to keep marijuana prohibition in place. There are various motivating factors as to why marijuana opponents do what they do. The most common one is protecting the bottom line of industries that so heavily rely on marijuana prohibition for profits. Here’s looking at you drug testing and for-profit prison companies!

Maine voters will see marijuana legalization on the ballot when they go to vote in November. Maine is one of a handful of states that will be voting on marijuana legalization in America. This of course has marijuana opponents worried, because they are seeing support for marijuana legalization growing at a rapid pace in America and they are scrambling to do what they can to keep harmful prohibition in place.

That’s why a new opposition group, ‘Mainers Protecting Our Youth And Communities’ was launched, in an effort to oppose marijuana legalization in Maine. Per the Sun Journal:

Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities includes parents, health experts, clergy and police, said Scott Gagnon, the coalition’s spokesman and the chairman of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which worked to successfully defeat a Lewiston ballot question to legalize marijuana in that city.

“This initiative to legalize marijuana poses significant threats to our youth and communities,” Gagnon said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “The marijuana industry has crafted an initiative that would see shops opened in neighborhoods all over Maine, selling potent pot gummy bears and cookies, and other highly addictive and dangerous products. These products have led to huge increases in (emergency room) admissions in Colorado, including admissions of preschool-aged children.”

Gagnon said there are no penalties, criminal or otherwise, in the initiative for selling or furnishing marijuana to minors, and no penalties for adults who provide a place for minors to consume marijuana.

Marijuana activist David Boyer pointed out that there was no need to include penalties for selling or furnishing to minors because that’s already illegal in Maine. That’s a minor detail that I’m sure will continue to be glossed over by the opposition group. The link I provided earlier in this article is a must read. Scott Gagnon tried very hard to spew reefer madness, and the article did a great job of providing equal time to David Boyer so that he could rebut all of it.

The battle in Maine is heating up. If you live in Maine, make sure to tell everyone you know that reefer madness is about to be spread on an epic level, and do your best to spread the truth. Arm yourself with the facts and the science, so that when one of these ‘Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities’ members is trying to influence minds, you can be there to debunk them over and over.

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  • Steve Mozes

    There are some deeper market-changing issues at play than this article lets on. I am in no way affiliated with this organization, just a Maine patient who cares deeply. There is already a taxed and regulated framework of distribution through Caregivers and Dispensaries in Maine, with somewhere around 2,500 individuals already successfully making a living off of selling medicinally. The law up for vote doesn’t have these individuals who have paid taxes and slowly built their businesses as the initial recreational sellers. Instead, there is a whole new licensing/application/fee procedure, prohibitive cost to caregivers, and license quantity restrictions that will create monopolies in a short time. The whole thing just leap-frogs the people of Maine, and it just feels wrong. The right bill will come along eventually, but I’m going to have to vote, ‘No’ on this one.

    • wowFAD

      Really and truly, recreational sales ought not be conflated with the existing medical cannabis program. You may think that’s unfair for the established businesses, so you want parity, but that is a sword that can cut both ways. They might not change the structure of the market you want them to change. The Maine legislature may subject the existing medical cannabis businesses to the same licensing/application/fee procedure that the recreational market will be subject to, instead of easing the requirements for the recreational market. It’s a problem they encountered in Washington and Oregon: the state legislature tried to equate the two markets, but not in a way that benefited existing businesses.

      It should be expected that the cost of establishing a recreational cannabis business will be higher. It’s akin to imposing a “sin” tax, which is immoral to do to someone’s medicine. Equating the two markets lends credence to the prohibitionist assertion that medical cannabis is just a “smoke screen” giving legal cover to recreational users. That’s an argument those of us in states who don’t even have safe, legal access for patients in need have yet to overcome. I live in Georgia, where our state government refuses to cultivate and process *any* cannabis for our limited, overly restrictive “CBD-only” program because it “opens the door” to legalization. Here, children die of intractable epilepsy because their parents can’t afford to move to a more liberal state. While there are cannabis patients and medical cannabis businesses in other states who keep suggesting medical = recreational, you’re doing the work of prohibitionists for them, so my state refuses to help those precious few most in need of safe access.

      Also, while the ballot initiative on the table allows home cultivation, it’s an unfair exaggeration to suggest the measure “leap-frogs the people of Maine.” That’s hyperbole. You may feel that your “no” vote will be made in loyalty to the medical cannabis businesses to which you give your patronage, but it’s a disservice to the *other* people of Maine who are stuck in a black market. Yes, I can see it from the perspective of current medical cannabis businesses who want to profit from a customer base emerging from the shadows — I understand they see new money. However, I sincerely disagree that recreational users should have to wait on legal protection so that existing medical cannabis businesses can more easily take advantage of their business.

      Think of it like this: the argument you’re making against the adult-use initiative is the same argument against legalization that drug dealers make. Sorry to be so frank, but the argument that the existing businesses should be the first in line to profit is a selfish argument that ignores and harms the people of Maine the legalization initiative would help. For the sake of everyone outside the medical cannabis market, please don’t let your subjectively held notions of “perfect” be the enemy of the greater good.

      Maybe you’ll continue to hold the “I got mine” attitude, despite my reply, and you’ll keep thinking recreational users in Maine as well as the patients in conservative states aren’t your problem. But I can assure you, the more you slow down Maine, the more you set back the rest of the nation, which only gives prohibitionists more time to find better footing. Your opposition to the adult-use measure may decrease national momentum sufficiently enough to allow new prohibitionist arguments to emerge and take hold of public opinion, which could potentially spill into your current medical cannabis program a few years down the line. You could lose the access you currently enjoy if you give the opposition time to find a “hook” that works for them.

      Just recently, a right-wing prohibitionist in Australia wrote a paper fallaciously suggesting cannabis use (all use) will damage your DNA and give your children cancer. The paper was crap, but it’s proof they’re throwing anything/everything at the wall to see what might stick. Had that paper gotten more headlines and had it not been summarily dismissed by experts quickly enough, Maine’s medical cannabis program would be next on the prohibitionist “hit-list” after this propaganda was used to defeat recreational adult use. Legalization is *not* inevitable and *not* such a forgone conclusion that we can be overly picky about what regulation structures get implemented, least of all when the argument is a *financial* one like the arguments made by “greedy growers” in California six years ago. The existing medical cannabis businesses were more concerned about their bottom-line than the greater good of California, so legalization was defeated by arguments from the left, not the right.

      • jontomas

        Right. – As I keep stating, who grows and sells marijuana is not important now. Marijuana reform is all about ending the monstrous war on marijuana consumers. Once we have achieved freedom and have stabilized the situation, then we can get serious about cultivation and distribution. – Don’t be fooled by the greedy sellers against legalization.

        • Nate

          Holy sheeyit– Thank you for calling it like it is.. greed is more likely to be attached to the SELLING, not the growing of MJ. Theres much to be said for the ” grow and give” model.

          • saynotohypocrisy

            If the prohibs had any sense, they’d be promoting a grow and give model. They claim it’s a commercialized industry that they most fear, but they are doing more than anyone to make profit based distribution of cannabis inevitable. When you’re too extreme and out of touch with public opinion, you wind up with nothing.

          • wowFAD

            I’m thinking that’s the trap. These days, the talking point prohibitionists hammer the most is that legalization is about money, so we can’t make it legal: “It’ll be Big Tobacco 2.0.” That’s their counterpoint to all the tightly regulated markets proposed.

            Because people naturally fall into binary ways of thinking, they’ll think the “grow and give” model is the only other option, which entails almost no regulation to speak of and thus outrages prohibitionists from the other angle: there’s no ID-check to prevent access to minors. That’s their counterpoint to home cultivation.

            It’s yet another false dilemma among many. Prohibitionists make these arguments plausible by over-embellishing both cases. Our counters to their arguments are pretty simple, though. We simply point out that cannabis can’t cross state lines, so the small-business model is the only one that CAN work in a regulated market. Buy local! As for home cultivation, we simply point out that home brewing of beer, wine, and cider hasn’t made it easier for minors to access alcohol. Having “grow and give” between responsible adults without any money swapping hands should be allowed because the law already forbids access to minors, whether we’re talking alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis. Adult-use means adult-use, only. Cannabis won’t be falling from the sky after the law changes.

            Frankly, I’m fed-up with the “What about the children?” arguments. What about the parents? Why is it everyone else’s job to keep your kids on the straight and narrow? The entire state has to keep a bad law because you want to avoid talking to your children for ten minutes? Where are these parents who are so desperate to abdicate their responsibility? Why can’t these parents handle it? Do they not care enough about their family to adjust? We can do hyperbole, too. “Well, fine — if you think the nanny-state should raise your kids for you, then you should put them up for adoption.”

          • jontomas

            Most of the vocal prohibitionists don’t care about anything but their wallets because they profit in some way from the fraudulent marijuana prohibition. – They include police, prosecutors, prisons, alcohol businesses, pharmaceutical companies, drug testing and “treatment” companies, money-laundering banks and the millionaire drug gangs themselves. – Add to that all the industries that sell to or service those powerful groups.

          • jontomas

            Right. Since Chris Conrad supplied better information, I have adjusted my stance. I would agree. Growers will still have their skills and resources after re-legalization. Many dispensaries are built shakily on medical excuse marijuana and will not survive the transition to a fully legal, competitive market place.

        • Shadar

          Good point… everyone jumps immediately to the grow/process/sale issues, but the real big deal is that nobody gets arrested or convicted for possession of personal quantities anymore. That’s a tough conviction to live with on your resume, even if you never saw the inside of a jail.

          Sorting out the supply chain and the rules is an administrative process that will evolve with time. As with liquor, bureaucracies get formed that stumble around establishing a regulated market. But removing the legal penalties for adult possession is the required first step.

          WA, OR and CO have tweaked their regulations many times since legalization and will continue to do so. That can have big impacts on producers, but have generally been positive changes for consumers.

  • Hermit

    you maine fold should protest. they know that you want it to be legal but they just don’t give a shit. leave maine. thats what id do

  • Michael Miller

    Highly addictive and dangerous… wow. Just wow.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      They keep confusing it with their own beloved drug alcohol, as well as tobacco and prescription opiates. Their scumbag hypocrisy never fails to astonish.

  • dewduxxydukkay57810

    According to the latest poll, its losing.