Second group forms to push 2016 marijuana legalization referendum in Maine

November 19th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA, Maine — A second group has formed with the intention of asking Maine voters to legalize recreational use of marijuana, raising questions about whether the two initiatives might spur the incoming Legislature to pre-empt them and write its own law to send to referendum.

Paul McCarrier, formerly the legislative liaison for Medical Marijuana Caregivers of M ain e, has long been a leading voice in Maine against prior legalization proposals that he said failed to reflect the best interests of the state and the existing medical marijuana community.

McCarrier said he will file paperwork with the Maine Ethics Commission on Tuesday to form the Legalize Maine Political Action Committee with the goal of collecting enough petition signatures to put the question to Maine voters in a 2016 statewide referendum. He said the difference between his initiative and a similar one by the Marijuana Policy Project is that his is “home-grown.”

“I’ve seen the benefits of the marijuana economy, both the medical and underground market, on Maine’s rural economy and it’s time to transition to a regulated, legal market,” said McCarrier in a written statement. “Mainers don’t need a group from Washington, D.C., to dictate what’s best for them. Our referendum will benefit the most Mainers, while having appropriate regulations for our state.”

David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said his organization’s proposed legalization law isn’t drafted yet.

McCarrier said he will

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