Maine officials on Wednesday announced that an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older has officially qualified for this year’s general election ballot, meaning it will be voted on this November.
“This November, Maine voters will have the opportunity to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy”, says David Boyer, Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “It is time to replace the underground market with a regulated system of licensed marijuana businesses. It is time to redirect our state’s limited law enforcement resources toward addressing serious crimes instead of enforcing failed prohibition policies. And it is time to stop punishing adults for using a substance that is significantly less harmful than alcohol.”
Initially the secretary of state ruled that the initiative didn’t qualify for the ballot due to too many invalid signatures. However, a Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled that the state mishandled counting the petitions, and ordered a recount, which found that the group did in fact submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
According to a new poll released this week by the Maine People’s Resource Center, 53% of likely voters would approve the initiative if the election were held today. Only about 42% said they would oppose it.
The initiative, modeled similarly to Colorado’s Amendment 64, would legalize the possession, cultivation and retail distribution of cannabis for those 21 and older. The full text of the initiative can be found by clicking here.