Archive for October, 2016

Marijuana legalization will come at the expense of Maine’s natural resources

October 31st, 2016

The commercial marijuana production and distribution championed in Question 1 will not be a wave of prosperity for Maine farmers, small communities or the rural economy.

It is clear that this referendum, intentionally or unintentionally, targets areas of Maine where law enforcement capabilities are widely dispersed, requiring oversight from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry whose expertise in food crops, public recreation, land management and forest production has little connection to the far reaching legal and law enforcement demands of this major departure from any of Maine’s traditional resource-based industries.

There are many legal loopholes in Question 1. For example, the referendum proposes to let municipalities regulate the number, location and operation of retail marijuana social clubs and establishments, including cultivation facilities and stores. Yet, nearly half of Maine, including the majority of Maine’s islands, has no municipal government. The Land Use Planning Commission that is within our Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry serves the townships and plantations across the state, conducting many of the functions of municipal government. Although local residents in these rural areas have a voice in local land use activities, Question 1 does not provide the commission or local residents authority to regulate marijuana. Residents in half of Maine will have no say over whether marijuana developments can locate near them.

Passage of Question 1 will divert our department’s attention from supporting Maine’s nationally leading growth and diversity of young farmers. The referendum necessitates the remake of the department based

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2016/10/31/opinion/contributors/marijuana-legalization-will-come-at-the-expense-of-maines-natural-resources/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

Garfield’s ghost and other spirits from the Maine campaign

October 31st, 2016

Paul H. Mills

Paul H. Mills

By Paul H. Mills

Though Maine voters may not be as animated as usual about voting for president this year – many wanting to sit this one out – they still have some hot button issues to be fired up about for the Nov. 8 election.

These include the five citizen initiated referenda – a record for those in a single election in Maine. Recreational marijuana and hiking income taxes may well offset the lack of enthusiasm in the White House choices, though both marijuana and income tax related questions have each appeared more than once on previous Maine election menus. Moreover, three questions, gun background checks, minimum wage, and ranked choice voting, make their debut in a Maine state-wide election.

An additional impetus for Mainers to turn out is that our outcome may influence those in different time zones who will still be voting on similar citizen initiatives. Those in the nation’s most populous state, California not to mention Nevada, for example, will have three more hours to vote after we close our polls for two of the same issues on which Mainers will have already weighed in, recreational marijuana and firearm background checks.

Elections will also still be underway after we close our polls as Washington state, Colorado, and Arizona vote on minimum wage bills, an issue similar to that for which Mainers will already have issued a verdict. These are ones on which those voting late in the

Article source: http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/opinion/garfields-ghost-and-other-spirits-from-the-maine-campaign/comment-page-1/

Leads shrink for 4 of the 6 Maine ballot issues, poll indicates

October 31st, 2016

Mainers polled this month indicate they will approve all six referendum questions on the Nov. 8 ballot, but the approval margins on four of the more hotly contested issues – including those involving marijuana and guns – have narrowed since a similar Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram poll was conducted in September.

If the actual vote reflects the poll results, Mainers will legalize recreational use of marijuana, impose a tax surcharge on high-income earners to create a fund for public education, expand background checks on gun transactions, increase the state’s minimum wage, enact ranked-choice voting and approve a bond issue of $100 million for transportation improvements.

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Poll Methodology at a glance

The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center on Oct. 20-25, 2016. Results are based on landline and cellular telephone interviews with 761 randomly selected Maine adults and 670 randomly selected likely or early Maine voters. The poll has a statewide margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for all adults and plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for likely voters. The respondents include 329 likely voters in the 1st Congressional District, with a margin of error for district results of 5.4 points; and 341 likely voters in the 2nd Congressional District, with a margin of error for district results of 5.3 points.


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The poll, conducted by The Survey Center of

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/10/31/margins-of-support-shrink-for-3-of-the-6-maine-ballot-issues-poll-indicates/

House District 29 incumbent, challenger disagree on most issues

October 31st, 2016

Republican Rep. Karen Vachon, a freshman incumbent, is being challenged Nov. 8 by Democrat Theo Kalikow, a retired university president, in a race for the House District 29 seat representing part of Scarborough.

The candidates disagree on most issues facing Mainers, from the push for income tax reform and the growing drug crisis to November ballot issues calling for a higher minimum wage and background checks for private gun sales.

THE CANDIDATES

Theo KalikowTheo Kalikow

Theo Kalikow

PARTY: Democratic

AGE: 75

HOMETOWN: Scarborough

FAMILY: Partnered

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree, chemistry, Wellesley College; master’s degree, philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; doctorate, philosophy, Boston University

JOB: Retired; college president, University of Maine at Farmington and University of Southern Maine; vice chancellor, University of Maine System

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Co-chairwoman, LGBTQ Youth Commission of Children’s Cabinet to the Governor, 2007-08; former board member, Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Humanities Council

WEB INFO: Theo Kalikow for Maine House District 29 on Facebook

SURVEY RESPONSE: pressherald.com/politics

Karen VachonKaren Vachon

Karen Vachon

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 57

HOMETOWN: Scarborough

FAMILY: Married, three children

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, New England College

JOB: Licensed health insurance agent; former public relations representative for Scarborough Downs and Maine harness racing

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: District 29 representative, 2015-present, Health and Human Services Committee

WEB INFO: vachonformainehouse.com and Rep. Karen Vachon on Facebook

SURVEY RESPONSE: pressherald.com/politics


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Kalikow, 75, led the University

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/10/31/house-district-29-incumbent-challenger-disagree-on-many-maine-issues/

A large young voter turnout in Maine could sway tight races – Journal Gazette and Times

October 30th, 2016

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Article source: http://jg-tc.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/a-large-young-voter-turnout-in-maine-could-sway-tight/article_b2ab08be-78f3-5b0e-94b4-c82737239eb7.html

Maine Senate 22: Richard Fochtmann

October 30th, 2016

Age (on Election Day): 73

Richard Fochtmann

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Retired

Community organizations:

DFD Russell Medical Centers; Leeds Municipal Democratic Committee; Leeds Historical Society

Hobbies, activities etc.:

I garden, and have designed and built (and still building) my own solar efficient home.

Family status: Married

Years in Legislature: 0

Clean Election candidate? No

Committee assignments wanted:

Veterans and Legal Affairs; Health and Human Services; Energy, Utilities and Technology

What is the most pressing problem in your district and what do you plan to do about it?

Because the state is sending much less money to communities for education, the burden to fund education is falling on property taxes. Seniors are hurt most and being forced out of homes they have lived in for much of their lives. This is unconscionable with an aging Maine population.

Gov. Paul LePage wants to eliminate the state income tax. Do you support that? If not, why not?

It is a give away to the rich. Those taxes pay for education, hospitals and health centers, help for our seniors, senior housing, emergency preparedness, etc., etc.

Are you willing to support raising the fuel tax to fix Maine roads? If not, why not?

Of course. We need to do that because it is the sole source for all our county roads and bridges, and with more efficient vehicles, current fuel costs are so low that they are not meeting our needs to maintain this infrastructure.

The relationship between the governor and

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/election2016/2016/10/30/maine-senate-22-richard-fochtmann/2015001

Column: Legal pot will hurt Mainers

October 30th, 2016

Marijuana was approved in Maine for medical use in 2009. I am one of a small but growing number of physicians in the state to issue certificates to patients with qualifying conditions.

In my practice, I have witnessed marijuana’s positive effects on a variety of disease states. While cannabis holds an important place in my doctor bag, I am judicious when issuing certificates and seldom jump to recommend it as first-line therapy. Marijuana consists of a class of chemically complex species with enormous therapeutic potential, but people must be educated and receive guidance on its use — something the medical community currently provides.

While I endorse marijuana for medical use, I strongly oppose Question 1. Widespread recreational use will have negative consequences for the welfare of Maine and the health of its citizens. Among the many organizations that share this opinion are the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Maine Medical Association.

The most flawed argument for legalization is how it would improve public health. The “Yes on 1” Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol declares, “Many Mainers cannot access medical marijuana because they do not have one of the few qualifying conditions or cannot afford a recommendation. Question 1 will expand access to thousands of Mainers who don’t currently qualify.”

I take offense at the idea that thousands would be self-diagnosing and self-medicating. We don’t allow this with prescription medication, so why should cannabis be held to a different standard? Imagine the chaos and catastrophe that would ensue if people could get

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/10/30/column-legal-pot-will-hurt-mainers/

Marijuana Legalization in Maine: A Closer Look at Question 1

October 29th, 2016
a-closer-look-at-maines-question-1
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When voters in Maine go to the polls on Election Day they – like voters in 4 other states – will see recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot. Although Maine is a state with an already established medical cannabis industry, it was not easy to get – and keep – recreational legalization on the ballot.

Unification and Court Battles

At this time last year there were actually 2 groups trying to legalize cannabis for all adults in Maine, the group behind what is now Question 1 and a group backed by the Marijuana Policy Project. Instead of competing for signatures and funding, the MPP group decided to bow out and throw their support behind the first group.

“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,” said David Boyer, the campaign manager of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (the MPP group), in a statement released at the time the two campaigns joined forces. “We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.

“We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall. We would not get behind this measure unless

Article source: https://www.marijuanatimes.org/marijuana-legalization-in-maine-a-closer-look-at-question-1/

Marijuana Legalization in Maine: A Closer Look at Question 1

October 29th, 2016
a-closer-look-at-maines-question-1
Getty

When voters in Maine go to the polls on Election Day they – like voters in 4 other states – will see recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot. Although Maine is a state with an already established medical cannabis industry, it was not easy to get – and keep – recreational legalization on the ballot.

Unification and Court Battles

At this time last year there were actually 2 groups trying to legalize cannabis for all adults in Maine, the group behind what is now Question 1 and a group backed by the Marijuana Policy Project. Instead of competing for signatures and funding, the MPP group decided to bow out and throw their support behind the first group.

“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,” said David Boyer, the campaign manager of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (the MPP group), in a statement released at the time the two campaigns joined forces. “We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.

“We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall. We would not get behind this measure unless

Article source: https://www.marijuanatimes.org/marijuana-legalization-in-maine-a-closer-look-at-question-1/

Ranked Choice Voting: Maine Considers Big Change To Election Process

October 29th, 2016

Ballot themes on ballots this November include marijuana, elections, education, guns, tobacco, minimum wage and the death penalty.

Meg Kelly/NPR


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Meg Kelly/NPR

Ballot themes on ballots this November include marijuana, elections, education, guns, tobacco, minimum wage and the death penalty.

Meg Kelly/NPR

It’s time to talk about ballot measures. Or rather, those other things voters are deciding on Nov. 8.

This November, there are 156 measures being voted on in 35 states and

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2016/10/29/499867729/ranked-choice-voting-maine-considers-big-change-to-election-process