After several setbacks, the Maine marijuana legalization has finally received the green signal. Last Saturday, in the middle of the recount, the “no” section conceded in the middle of the recount, reported Maine’s Secretary of State’s office.
Following this, the Maine marijuana legalization is back on track to become a law in weeks. Notably, on Election Day, Maine residents favored the initiative of legalization by a razor thin margin. With 50.27% votes in favor of legalization, the count stood at 381,647 in favor and 377,574 against. Approximately one third of the votes were recounted last Saturday.
“Marijuana will soon be legal in Maine,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the “yes” side, reported Augusta Patch. “We are grateful that the No on 1 campaign has conceded and look forward to working together towards a successful implementation of Question 1.”
Consequently, the tally will be released sometime this week. After being approved by Governor Paul LePage, (who opposed the legalization), it will be enacted within 30 days. Thus, Maine marijuana legalization can be a law at the end of January.
Under the new law, Maine adult residents will be allowed to buy up to 2 and a half ounce of marijuana from retail stores. Additionally, social marijuana clubs would also be allowed. Unfortunately, marijuana in all forms is a Schedule I drug under the federal law.
Maine, which was one of the four states to approve legalization of marijuana on Election Day, might not find it effective even after passing the law. The other states who passed were Massachusetts, Nevada and California. Arizona was the only state to reject the legalization initiative.
Fortunately, Massachusetts passed the law on last Thursday. However, like Maine, the retail sales are on a hold until the government officials create proper framework policies.
Notably, the governor of Maine, LePage was strongly opposed to the idea of Maine marijuana legalization. According to him, it would have “deadly consequences”. Since marijuana impairs drivers, it can lead to deadly crashes. Additionally, marijuana users would also be impulsive to use heroin.
“We do not need to legalize another drug that could lead to more deaths,” LePage said in a statement in the days leading up to the election.