More Than 40 Maine Lawmakers Sign Memo Urging Consideration of Marijuana Legalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director February 24, 2014

    On Friday, more than 40 state lawmakers in Maine co-signed a memo authored by State Representative Diane Russell that was delivered to the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee. The memo encouraged the committee to keep all options on the table in their upcoming financial deliberations, including potential tax revenue derived from an adult, non-medical market for marijuana.

    “All options should be on the table,” Rep. Russell stated in the memo, “In this spirit, we propose committee members give serious consideration to the revenue options associated with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis for responsible adult use.”

    The memo was signed by prominent elected officials in the state including Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Allagash), House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), Minority Whip Alex Willette (R-Mapleton), House Chair of Criminal Justice and Public Safety and former County Sheriff Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland), and House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Richard Farnsworth (D-Portland).

    In 2013, the Maine House of Representatives fell just four votes short of approving a measure introduced by Rep. Russell which would have placed the issue of marijuana legalization before voters during the fall elections.

    Last week, initial tax revenue estimates for the sales tax on recreational marijuana in Colorado were estimated to be just shy of 100 million dollars, far higher than the initial 70 million dollar estimate given to voters in 2012.

    17 responses to “More Than 40 Maine Lawmakers Sign Memo Urging Consideration of Marijuana Legalization”

    1. JJ says:

      Revenue now supports logic.

    2. leonidas says:

      don’t worry people once the gov of other states see the cash flowing in from sales (taxes) in Wash and Colorado their greed will make them legalize it. they cant help themselves they love to spend our money to much

    3. mexweed says:

      Yes, consider the tax bonanza. But far bigger is government SAVINGS on programs to help indigent, low-income individuals suffering from originally PREVENTABLE $igarette-$moking-related illnesses (had young persons “experimented” with cannabis instead of addictive nicotine tobacco). According to 2014 Surgeon General Report, “tobacco” chronic illness treatment and lost productivity cost the US economy $289,000,000,000 a year.

    4. Ray says:

      Dear Politician what ever your party,

      What side of the fence do you sit on? legalization or prohibition.

      Eventually supply will meet demand in Colorado and Washington. When this happens the money train will not be nearly what it is now!!! Businesses are being built around this market, why not get in early on this CASH COW?!!!
      (Think Budweiser, Coors,Jack Daniels post prohibition)

      Put down your cigar, cigarette, beer, brandy, coffee, prescription pills, heroin or your cholesterol medicine. They are all drugs, so stop judging me on my drug of choice.

      Gateway drug? no sorry not if regulated. Did I buy beer when I was under age? Oh wait I did so then beer was my gateway drug, better make it illegal (sarcasm). We can play this game all night.

      Save our jail cells for violent offenders, the people who hurt people. It will even ease the burden on our court system and save money.

      Real jobs will come to our states, farming, industrial, real estate,even your local glass blower if you encourage growth. Not McJobs but real good paying jobs. Wait and you will only be fighting the majority who want this. You will be missing out on job creation and economic growth, while jailing your own citizens.

      Maine is not to far from New York and it is a beautiful state to visit. I would love to go back and spend a week there real soon. I have some vacation money to spend.

      Or New York could figure this one out first and keep my money here.

    5. Evening Bud says:

      Kudos to Diane Russell; her perseverance seems to be paying off. I wish we could borrow her for a year or two in my state.

    6. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      What great support Maine has. I love watching the fall. I’ll be glad when its all just funny stories I tell my grandchildren and they say,”Tell it again grampa,… tell it again,… its so funny.”, and to which I’ll say,”Ok,..”
      Once upon a time there was this great country called North Hypocrisy, and in it lived a people called the Smart Majority who lived in the low lands and they were ruled by an evil lying king named Stupid Minority. After lying to the great people of North Hypocrisy and making them live in the low lands for a hundred years they just stop believing the lies and used Democracy to get rid of the lying king and move to the high lands. And they change the name of North Hypocrisy to North Honesty and lived health-ally ever after laughing at Stupid Minority forever.
      The End

      “According to 2014 Surgeon General Report, “tobacco” chronic illness treatment and lost productivity cost the US economy $289,000,000,000 a year.” Brilliantly reported to right place. I doubt if the damage inflicted to humans over the course of this war on marijuana will ever be accurately calculated, but that sure brings perspective to its enormity.

    7. a maine caregiver says:

      I know the caregivers association in maine are against this but It’s time folks. We’ve had the conversation, its time.

    8. wallace clark says:

      What is the Governor’s position? Will he sign the bill if it makes it to his desk>

    9. H says:

      Instead of all of the regulation the US should NOW sell the Cannabis Stamp that nobody can currently buy.

      Charge a reasonable price of perhaps $125.00 for a stamp that allows a person to grow perhaps 12 female plants and a mother plant plus a couple of males for future seed needs.

      I see this as a way to put a reasonable tax, fees to support a small regulatory commission and money for the state; this would be good for people who wish to supply their own needs without the need for large business but not to prohibit businesses from participating in retail outlets.

      Too much regulation or tax will simply shift the focus of the police into unintended (as of now unimagined) areas of the everyday life of US citizens resulting in little gain for anyone.

    10. david says:

      Potential Tax? Boot Lickers!!!!

      Bow to the New World Order SLAVES!