Should Maine Legalize Marijuana?

November 16th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

The topic of marijuana has been a hot for quite some time, as for years, states have allowed for medical use in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The federal legislation prohibits the use of marijuana for any purposes. Since 1996 however, a movement has started to grow across America. California would become the leader in a trend of allowing for medical uses, with Maine joining as the fourth state in 1999. Now in 2012, a new movement has taken off. On November 6th, Colorado and Washington fully legalized marijuana use, nullifying federal prohibition. Now Maine will consider becoming the third state to fully legalize in the upcoming legislative session.

Democratic State Representative Diane Russell is introducing legislation that would legalize marijuana. It would also impose a tax on it, as well as on products for recreational use. A recent Portland Press Herald article, “Maine lawmaker seeks to legalize marijuana”, discusses the legislation and reaction from various individuals.

While there is no official response on record from the Republican Party, the House Democratic Office communications director seemed to imply that the party itself would not focus on Representative Russell’s legislation, telling the Portland Press Herald “Democrats are going to be focused on legislation that helps rebuild Maine’s economy and strengthens the middle class. That’s where we want to focus our energy this session.” Decriminalizing marijuana, freeing up resources spent by law enforcement on prohibition, and taxing usage would not help Maine’s economy?

Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of

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