There are multiple efforts to legalize marijuana in Maine. There are two efforts in the Maine Legislature, and two initiatives. One of those initiatives, put forward by ‘Legalize Maine’ was approved yesterday to start gathering signatures by the Maine Secretary of State. If the initiative makes the ballot and is passed by voters it would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and allow stores to sell marijuana, which would be taxed at 10%.
The signature gathering approval was celebrated by campaign organizers. Per the International Business Times:
Pro marijuana advocates in Maine are expected to start collecting signatures to get recreational pot on the ballot in 2016 following approval Tuesday of a petition by the Secretary of State’s office, the Associated Press reported. Legalize Maine submitted its proposal 10 weeks ago, and hoped to put through the petition pushed without help from outside marijuana groups.
“This is a historic moment, not just for Maine, but for the nation,” Legalize Maine President Paul McCarrier said in an emailed statement. “We are the first to put a homegrown initiative on the ballot without backing from national marijuana organizations. … We have been waiting weeks for this day, and we are hitting the ground running.”
Legalize Maine will need more than 61,000 valid signatures by Jan. 22 to get the initiative on the November 2016 ballot.
The second initiative is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project. In a perfect world, the two campaigns would somehow find a way to work together. However, that rarely happens when there are competing initiatives. I just hope that the two separate campaigns don’t cancel each other out, which we have seen happen in other states. If you would like to donate to the Legalize Maine campaign, you can do so at this link here.