The nonprofit political committee Legalize Maine has officially submitted their initiative to legalize cannabis to the Secretary of State, beginning the process of getting the proposal placed on the November, 2016 general election ballot.
“It’s time to put the question before Maine voters”, said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine. “We are confident that Mainers will support our plan to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana as an agricultural product. Marijuana has been an economic engine for Maine’s rural economy for the past 50 years and it’s time for Mainers to decide if they want to legalize that section of the economy or not.”
If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, Legalize Maine’s initiative would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and would authorize cannabis social clubs where individuals could buy and use the therapeutic substance. Cannabis would be taxed at 10%.
To qualify for the ballot, Legalize Maine will need to collect 61,123 valid signatures, though the group is aiming for 80,000. The final deadline on when these can be submitted for the initiative to make the 2016 ballot has yet to be set.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Kristen Muszynsk says it will take the department roughly six weeks until the initiative is ready for circulation.