Like it or not, marijuana policy is on the state’s agenda, and lawmakers are likely to have just one more chance to deal with the issue before the voters do it for them.
This summer, pro-pot activists are collecting signatures to put questions on the ballot in South Portland, Lewiston and York, initiatives that would make it legal for adults to possess a small amount of marijuana for recreational purposes. These initiatives are modeled on the Portland referendum that passed by an overwhelming majority last year.
This is no coincidence. The Marijuana Policy Project, the same group that put the Portland question up for a vote, is also behind the other initiatives and has a stated goal of putting a statewide question on the ballot in 2016. If the two previous medical-marijuana referendums are any indication, the recreational-marijuana referendum also should be expected to pass, as Mainers and the nation become more libertarian on this issue every year. The resulting law will be based on a one-sided question written by activists and marijuana growers, not on a policy crafted by elected representatives in a rigorous legislative process.
We have always argued that marijuana’s legal