Maine: No Retail Pot Legalization For Now

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Maine: No Retail Pot Legalization For Now
Bipartisan legislative deal puts moratorium on marijuana sales until 2018

January 11, 2016
Contact: SAM Public Affairs

(Augusta, ME) — A deal has been reached by the leaders of the Maine House and Senate to put off major provisions of Question 1, the legalization initiative that passed by a razor thin margin of just a few thousand votes last November. The deal would delay retail sales until a later date.
“Given how close the vote on legalization was, we applaud the leaders of the Maine legislature for putting this compromise forward,” said Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action. “Few Mainers want to see pot openly commercialized and sold by out-of-state private interest groups who just want to make a buck.”
SAM’s affiliate,  Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities (MPOYC), applauded the measure. Their statement, in part, read:

“Delaying implementation until early 2018 will provide the necessary time for state and local officials to get the data, research, and science they need to make smart, evidence-based policies that will ensure Maine does everything it can to protect the health, safety and welfare of all Mainers.  This is a stellar example of bi-partisan leadership making decisions based on sound public health principals.”

The deal also closes two problematic loopholes by ensuring marijuana is not legal for youth and prohibiting edibles, which have led to a skyrocketing increase in hospital and ER admissions in states like Colorado.

“We are so thankful for the leadership of President Thibodeau and Speaker Gideon in drafting this legislation. We are thankful they have heard and incorporated the concerns of the half of Maine that said ‘No’ to Question 1, because of their deep concerns about the risks posed to youth and communities,” stated Smart Approaches to Marijuana and No On 1 Campaign Chair Scott Gagnon. “It was especially crucial to close the youth possession loophole and to continue to prohibit edibles. Our coalition strongly supports this legislation and will be actively engaged in advocacy to ensure its speedy passage.  This is a good compromise to respect democracy while also ensuring we respect the health, safety, and welfare of all Mainers.”


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