Bill calls for Maine referendum to legalize pot

February 25th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

February 22

Maine lawmaker pushes to legalize small amounts of marijuana

Similar propositions have been defeated before in Maine, but now two other states have legalized it, demonstrating a wider acceptance.

By Michael Shepherd
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA — Maine would become the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use if lawmakers and voters approve a bill introduced Thursday by a Portland legislator.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, would allow individuals 21 and older to possess two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana and six plants. It also calls for licensing cultivators, producers of products containing marijuana, retailers and laboratories.

Her bill would also impose an excise tax on growers that she says would generate $13 million in revenue for the state.

The bill’s text has not been released, but Russell said the legalization question would go to statewide referendum if approved by the Legislature.

Similar bills introduced by Russell and others in the past have been unsuccessful. But with medical use of marijuana already legal in Maine and recreational use legalized last year in Colorado and Washington state, Russell thinks there may be increased support for her bill.

“We have proven here in Maine that this can be done for medicinal purposes,” she said at a Thursday news conference. “It is now time to institute that same strict, regulatory infrastructure for responsible, adult recreational consumers.”

Marijuana – even medical marijuana

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