LEWISTON, Maine — A new coalition aimed at defeating a November ballot question that will ask Maine voters to make marijuana legal for recreational use is growing, according to a release from a coalition leader Tuesday.
Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities includes parents, health experts, clergy and police, said Scott Gagnon, the coalition’s spokesman and chairman of Smart Approaches To Marijuana, which previously worked to successfully defeat a Lewiston ballot question to legalize marijuana in that city.
“This initiative to legalize marijuana poses significant threats to our youth and communities,” Gagnon said in a prepared statement. “The marijuana industry has crafted an initiative that would see shops opened in neighborhoods all over Maine, selling potent pot gummy bears and cookies, and other highly addictive and dangerous products. These products have led to huge increases in (emergency room) admissions in Colorado, including admissions of preschool-aged children.”
Gagnon said there are no penalties, criminal or otherwise, in the initiative for selling or furnishing marijuana to minors, and no penalties for adults who provide a place for minors to consume marijuana.
But supporters of the ballot question, including David Boyer, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said current law already prohibits the sale of marijuana to minors.
“It’s already illegal, that’s why we didn’t put it in there — it’s going to remain illegal,” Boyer said.
Boyer also said Gagnon’s claims that emergency room visits in Colorado have spiked since that state legalized recreational marijuana are misleading.
“The study can’t peg marijuana as the cause of