Maine is actually one of 11 other states that have approved something called indirect initiated state statutes which allows for no restrictions on legislative alterations to voter approved laws that were placed on the ballot because citizens collected enough signatures to have it added. In other words, if legislators put a question on the ballot and it is approved by the voters, than it is concrete, but if citizens through a tremendous amount of work, time and money have a question put on the ballot, it might not mean anything. Hence the absolute debacle that has been the legalization of marijuana in Maine. Bills have been vetoed by Governor LePage and legislators are changing the rules regulalry and not follwoing through on their own deadlines. Even though voters approved marijuana lounges in Maine, they have now been eliminated by Maine’s legislators.
Maine Marijuana Legalization, Question 1 (November 2016)
“…This initiated bill allows the possession and use of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older. It provides for the licensure of retail marijuana facilities including retail marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana products manufacturing facilities, retail marijuana testing facilities and retail marijuana stores. It also provides for the licensure of retail marijuana social clubs where retail marijuana products may be sold to consumers for consumption on the licensed premises. It provides for regulation and control….”
Let’s see what Sen. Roger Katz had to say when asked about the elimination of marijuana social clubs in Maine.
“No other state has licensed social clubs,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, co-chairman of the implementation committee. “This is clearly the law, but it passed by the narrowest of margins. We ought to go slow and be conservative.”
On Wednesday, the committee voted 10-4 to eliminate references to social club licensing in one of a series of straw votes on its adult-use implementation bill. A final committee vote is planned for Friday.
The committee also voted down a plan to share the state’s marijuana tax revenues with communities that agree to host a licensed cultivation, processing or retail sales business.
It had initially proposed giving towns a cut of the state taxes, but the bill failed to survive a veto by Gov. Paul LePage.
In justifying his veto, LePage did not refer to the revenue-sharing proposal, but House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said the plan didn’t sit well with Republicans, who believe sales tax authority belongs with the state.
Maybe legal recreational marijuana will be for sale in Maine someday, but unfortunately the way things are going the ballot measure that voters approved in 2016 may not be how it happens. Do you think that Maine legislators are right to be delaying and changing something that voters approved?