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Marijuana Legalization Measure Formally Introduced In Maine With 35 Co-Sponsors

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maine marijuana legalization LD 1229By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

This week, Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) formally introduced LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana into the Maine legislature. This legislation would legalize the sale of as much as 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana per week to people 21 or older at licensed retail locations. It would also permit for the cultivation of the plant in private settings. The measure has been assigned to the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

In a previous session, an earlier version of Russell’s legalization measure was rejected by House lawmakers by a vote of 107 to 39. States Rep. Russell: “I think there’s been a major culture shift since I introduced this bill in 2011. What we’ll see is a lot more folks ready to talk about this issue.”

This cultural shift is readily apparent in the groundswell of support this legislation has already generated. LD 1229 was introduced with the backing of 35 co-sponsors from across the political spectrum. Those supporting the bill were 2 tribal representatives, 28 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 independent. The previous version of this measure only had 4 co-sponsors.

NORML is pleased to support this historic legislation that would make Maine the third state to tax and regulate the adult use of marijuana. This is common sense legislation that would put Maine at the vanguard of a reform which is not only supported by over half of the country, but would also save the state precious law enforcement resources, create a new job and tax producing industry, stop the arrest of non-violent citizens, enhance protection of civil liberties, and help keep marijuana out of the hands of Maine’s children. We urge Representative Russell’s colleagues to join with her and the 35 co-sponsors of LD 1229 in taking a stand to end the state’s prohibition on marijuana and to start creating a safer Maine.

Our supporters generated hundreds of emails to their elected officials urging them to co-sponsor this measure and it looks like that outpouring of support is already paying off. However, we need to keep up the momentum. If you live in Maine, please take a moment today to contact your Representative and State Senator and urge them to support this important legislation. You can do so using NORML’s Take Action Center here.

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Johnny Green

4 Comments

  1. I read this in the Bangor Daily News today: “Paul McCarrier of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine told the Bangor Daily News by phone Wednesday that his organization also would oppose the bill.” I’m really getting sick and tired of these little quislings being involved with marijuana that are doing their bit to collude with prohibitionists to sabotage legalization. Somebody should ask these traitors why adult users should be jailed or subjected to the black market just because they think that legalization and cannabis freedom will cramp their style. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. On a more positive note, I wish Maine success in their strive for cannabis freedom and salute the cannabis patriots for their noble efforts.

  2. Holder’s decision on marijuana was imminent using the same time frame of imminent threat to justify the assassination of an American citizen with a drone.

  3. Carlos Alberto on

    I don’t see why Marijuana is illegal. All I see its benefits from it.

    Medicals treatment, Better Economy, and Less young people from getting arrested.

    The government should listen to “We the People” and run votes on every state already.

    Most of the population would agree with this. Lets make it happen!

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