Maine marijuana backer says allies doomed 2014 bill

November 23rd, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Posted:Today
Updated: 1:07 AM

Maine marijuana backer says allies doomed 2014 bill

Thursday’s vote means a bill to legalize small amounts of marijuana throughout the state won’t be able to be reintroduced before 2015.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, said her effort to put a statewide marijuana legalization bill before lawmakers in January’s legislative session failed because of opposition from one-time allies.

Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, said her effort to put a statewide marijuana legalization bill before lawmakers in January’s legislative session failed because of opposition from one-time allies. Any bill legalizing marijuana throughout Maine must now wait until 2015.

John Patriquin /2011 Staff File Photo

Russell said Friday night that those who opposed her bill latched onto elements of a draft she circulated without giving her, or fellow legislators, time to consider alternatives on matters including a tax rate for pot and ways to clean up the records of past offenders.

On Thursday, the Legislative Council voted 5-5 on a proposal to take up Russell’s bill as an emergency measure. A tie vote loses, meaning Russell’s bill won’t be considered in the shortened second half of the two-year legislative session.

Russell said she showed a draft of the bill to other groups that helped back Portland’s marijuana legalization referendum, which passed earlier this month with 67 percent of the vote. But those groups, including the Portland Green Independent Committee, cited provisions in

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Marijuana_backer_says_onetime_allies_doomed_bill_.html

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