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Maine: Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto, Amend Voter-Initiated Adult Use Measure

  • by NORML May 2, 2018

    Maine lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1719; the enactment of the legislation establishes a framework for the retail sale of marijuana to adults, but also amends numerous provisions of the 2016 voter-approved measure — including those specific to home grow limits and taxation.

    Specifically, LD 1719 limits the number of mature plants an adult may cultivate at home from six to three. The measure also repeals language permitting the establishment of social-use facilities, and increases the excise tax rates on the sale of wholesale marijuana products. It also makes it easier for communities that wish to ban adult use operations to do so.

    However, the measure also permits state regulators for the first time to move forward with the establishment of rules permitting for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Legislators anticipate that it will be until 2019 before these facilities are operational.

    Governor LePage, an ardent opponent of the 2016 initiative, vetoed LD 1719 last week, opining that he, “in good conscience cannot support a law that, on its face, violates federal law.” The Governor had previously vetoed a less conservative implementation bill last November. That bill did not amend home cultivation limits and did not outright ban social use establishments.

    NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano expressed mixed emotions about the law’s passage. “On the one hand, we are grateful that regulators can now — after months of undue delay — finally begin moving forward with the process of licensing adult use marijuana sales and regulating this retail market. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that lawmakers felt it necessary to amend and repeal other important provisions of Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act, in what ultimately was futile effort to curry favor with the Governor,” he said. “At the end of the day, this measure is far from consistent with the language that the majority of voters approved at the ballot box.”

    38 responses to “Maine: Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto, Amend Voter-Initiated Adult Use Measure”

    1. Julian says:

      Ok… 6 to 3 plants is unconstitutional and should be taken to court now that legislative action has been taken… but…
      Holy-Lemon-Haze-Train-Wreck Batman! …Did this override in Maine just become our nation’s first legislatively enacted state regulated marijuana market?!

      • Julian says:

        Maine just made history… the first legislatively enacted marijuana market by Maine changes forever the way Federal Congress and Federal Judges will interpret the Controlled Substances Act. Being that Maine’s state legislature passed laws for a legally regulated recreational, state taxed market without the use of a voter initiative also means that other state legislatures like Texas feel less burdened by losing a law suit from Jeff Sessions’ DOJ in the Trump Administration or the rest of the Federal government.

        This is the big pivot in our American Marijuana Prohibition Tragedy: a turning point in favor of fairly taxed legal marijuana markets.

      • Matt says:

        good point, Julian!

        • Julian says:

          I should clarify, Matt, that it’s the greedy amendments that Maine’s legislature threw in that get interpreted by State Supreme Courts as law… just as Massachussetts did, which technically would make them have taken the bait first and made the first legislatively enacted marijuana market.

          But to do it from the start to finish without voter initiative helping at all is still in the works. Let’s see if we can make the Jersey legislature pull enough votes to pull it off. Remember November; make marijuana a single-vote lifestyle issue for Democrats.

          • Matt says:

            very true, Julian, and about the importance of the single-issue voter/vote!

            Yes, New Jersey, I know the gov. wanted it done either this year or within 100 days…I will have to check the status. If not this year or Federally, you can BET New Jersey WILL LEGALIZE in 2019. No QUESTION. Will face huge opposition from Big Pharma though in the Garden State. Research triangle.

    2. Evening Bud says:

      It’s obvious that LePage does not give a flying f**k about the will of the voters. Hopefully the voters of Maine learned a lesson here.

    3. William says:

      Stick it to him!!!

    4. Matt says:

      Focusing on the positive, all…..at least SOMETHING passed. We can now work to improve this diluted situation. Even if OH had legalized a monopoly in 2016, at least legalization would still have occurred, to be improved upon over time. Some good news….two articles out there…. one on prosecutors rescinding weed convictions, another on employers considering dropping pre-employment marijuana testing.

    5. Matt says:

      What is that old saying…..half of everything is what?

      • Matt says:

        and we kept Maine, which was, until recently, arguably our most endangered, threatened legal state, just my opinion.

    6. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      It is long past due, that more Government listen to the majority of its voters. Many people are demanding cannabis legal, and they’ve better deal with it, before it explodes in their faces. This includes federal government, as legislation exists to stop it at a federal level. It’s time to take it away from the Controlled Substances list, as it is so nontoxic, that you can eat bud. You can not eat tobacco, too much can easily kill you. Or just make you really sick. Hemp seed contains nutrients, and are good for you.

      It’s time they legalize.

      • Russell Davis says:

        I wish it was legal in tx

        • Julian says:

          Check out the voter guide at w.texasnorml.org and prepare for the very short legislative session in Texas that starts in January. We need to citizen lobby in Austin, testify in the Health Committee, get rid of prohibitionists like Pete Sessions and vote in marijuana reforming Democrats.

          Texas is going to “expand the Compassionate Use Act” into a medical marijuana bill, but not without shaking up the “conservative” state legislature that wint even legalize conservative hemp.

          • Denny Strausser Jr says:

            I hope I make sense, I’m stoned.

            Jeff Sessions said something about the slight possibility of medical benefits. I doubt he’s changing his mind full at anytime soon. I believe marijuana (Cannabis) will be taken off the Controlled Substances List very soon. They are having problems with people suing the government over whether or not the laws are really Constitutional. There’s a lot of pressure growing on legalizing plus taxes on it. They’ll eventually do it. I don’t know if it is enough to save Trump, I never thought either one would last over one term. I voted for Clinton, so I guess I am a Democrat aren’t I? I voted for our Governor Tom Wolf, here in PA. He signed in our medical marijuana laws, and I figure there’s a good chance he will approve of whole flower marijuana, for medical purposes. Not to be smoked, yet. After they approve of buds, how are they going to stop people from smoking it instead? And the approved way is suppose to be stronger anyways. I am use to smoking it though.

            Someday sooner than many large companies would like it to be, cannabis will be legal again.

            Can’t wait until next month, when bills come down. I need to talk to the electric company into allowing me to pay next months bill, and let me pay the rest of this months bill all at once. Dropped cable in the meantime, so I have that extra money at the start of June. I am making sure, even if I succeed in placing back double what the difference currently owed. 64$, and might be able to pay the bill if the 64 were to double this way. Then when I find out what I have in June, get Hulu I think it’s called, because they have Family Guy on it.

            Before I worry too much, I believe I’ll smoke some more. Watching Harry Potter. John Hurt’s wand scene is now. He was neat. xD

            • Julian says:

              Marijuana gives us the unique ability to properly prioritize our bills, doesn’t it Denny?

              Cable “news” is entertainment-tabloid-propaganda. You’re better off googling “information.”

              As for the likes of legalizing at the federal level, look to the first state to legalize without voter initiative. I thought all these amendments from Mass to Maine were legislatively enacted legal markets. Apparently only State Supreme Courts agree with that… not Federal Congress or Federal Judges. Jersey or Rhode Island? Connecticut? Whose gonna break the ICE?

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              Denny,
              As Gilbert Shelton (creator of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics) said, “Weed will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no weed.”

              So very true!

            • Denny Strausser Jr says:

              @Mark Mitcham
              @Julian
              I would rather have Pot, then pay for doing things for people. I am glad, however it got here, that it’s here. I very much enjoy something which nature has made.

              Now I would be typing this high, but I ran out last night, and have no money until next month. I am considering getting a scale, as when people notice I got an 1/8th or more, suddenly people are my friends, handing me 10s for dime bags. So, when I get bigger amounts, trying to figure a way to get no less than another 1/8 next month, I’ll be able to measure it on the nose. .7 grams, just .3 short of a full gram is what a dime bag here is. Might try for a 1/4 next month, I really like bigger amounts better, they last me longer. And then when more than one person asked for a dime, I can do it.

              So yeah, weed is better than money. Once I get the chance, might just grow some. Fuck the laws.

              LOL

            • Matt says:

              Denny, I actually believe, for now at least, Sessions realizes he can’t stop this thing of legalization. I have watched more than one of his recent questionings, and he DOES seem largely resigned to the fact there is nothing much he or DOJ can do, even dragging the states to court would take ENORMOUS amounts of time. Any court ruling would be ignored as it is by the states.

              Sessions does not have the resources and is under a great deal of pressure in other areas both in DOJ operations, funding, and the Trump affairs.

              There will BE no DOJ crackdown. We have more problems now, I think, if state actors try to gang up on legalized states and try and take this issue to the Supreme Court, which now leans arguably conservative. Healthy MI right here in MI and Kevin Sabet and SAM might try and get some states together to raise the states v. Fed argument in a last ditch Nebraska/Oklahoma attack. They may try and drag us in to the Supreme Court to attempt to force the states to honor the Supremacy Clause.

              They will fail, because no one is paying attention more less cares even if the Federal Government orders the states to stop.

              Jeff Sessions realizes the genie is out of the bong. Legalization has come a long way, WE have come a long way. And we are NEVER turning back.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Matt, don’t be so sure there will be no crackdown by Sessions. He wants to, and he is able to crackdown. Just because he hasn’t yet attacked on a massive scale doesn’t mean he won’t.

      • Dylan says:

        You’re right it’s been known to protect you from malignant tumors and your brain neurons it is a natural stress reliever and pain medication and people that have no appetite helps them eat I guess they will never listen

    7. Matt says:

      Bong, bowl half full or half empty, lol. Blunt, joint half toked, smoked, brownie, cookie half eaten….coffee, tea, THC soda, etc, lol

    8. WAKE UP, will ya? says:

      “Specifically, LD 1719 limits the number of mature plants an adult may cultivate at home from six to three. The measure also repeals language permitting the establishment of social-use facilities, and increases the excise tax rates on the sale of wholesale marijuana products. It also makes it easier for communities that wish to ban adult use operations to do so.

      However, the measure also permits state regulators for the first time to move forward with the establishment of rules permitting for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Legislators anticipate that it will be until 2019 before these facilities are operational.

      Governor LePage, an ardent opponent of the 2016 initiative, vetoed LD 1719 last week, opining that he, “in good conscience cannot support a law that, on its face, violates federal law.” The Governor had previously vetoed a less conservative implementation bill last November. That bill did not amend home cultivation limits and did not outright ban social use establishments.”

      Those lawmakers did an override dance on the voters’ faces, with this one, and the governor vetoed it to stop them. Seems he was more for the voters than the legislators turned out to be.
      By the way, who died and made all of those people, the personal doctors, for every patient, Everywhere?!!
      Butt out of our treatment, and private medical records and treatment! This stuff is our decision, and ours alone. Period.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Wake,
        No, LePage does not support the will of the voters, that’s not why he vetoed. He vetoed because he hated the idea of legal dispensaries.

        The legislature also opposes the will of the voters, as evidenced by the damage they did to the voter initiative, like vandals.

        But they overrode the veto, in my view, because they were stuck between the platform and the train, so to speak, with weed now being legal, yet with no legal structure for dispensing it.

        This was going to cause them to lose out on the tax revenue. And they just gotta get a piece of that money! And, they also got a chance to get their licks in, and fuck up the voter initiative, while they had a shot at it. So, they took it.

        So, no, LePage is still a dick, just like Trump, whom he considers “cut from the same cloth.” (That’s LePage commenting on Trump. LePage considers Traitor Trump a soulmate. But both men are nothing but filthy white trash.)

    9. Dain Bramage says:

      LePage is what happens when progressives split the vote between Democrats and third parties. You get the worst possible outcome: a goddamn Republican. A goddamn Trump.

      This stark warning, unheeded, from Samantha Bee, from before the 2016 election:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UB1bSJB3n10

      Don’t make Samantha Bee say she warned us… TWICE!

      Let this be a lesson in 2018 and 2020: So long as Traitor Trump is in the Oval Office, The PROTEST VOTE IS A DEMOCRATIC VOTE!

      A third-party vote, no matter how principled the ideals behind it, will only serve to support Traitor Trump and his fascist, treasonous Republican lickspittles.

    10. Dain Bramage says:

      This legislative override of LePage’s veto, regardless of the motives or political persuasions of each Maine legislator, represents an excellent example of the principle of Harm Reduction at work.

      Yes, those who sabotaged the will of the voters are being dicks. But we knew that about them and their behavior as politicians already. The solution there is to ensure they are not let them off the hook later: Payback! Vote the bums out! Write down their names and remember them when election season rolls around!

      The removal of the social clubs is a particularly Dick Move. It demonstrates that our political opposition is about the culture wars and prejudice and judgementalism; it was never about public safety. And naturally, money is behind it: Republicans sell out their values just as fast as they can fake them.

      By taking marijuana sales out of the alley, and into the security of legal dispensaries, arrest rates should drop. Stopping the arrests is the first priority, over tax revenue for the state, and over social clubs for the yuppies, as infuriating as that slap in the voters’ face most certainly is.

      Down the road, if Maine will vote Democratic, a fresh Maine legislature full of progressive Democrats would be willing to take another look at that, I have no doubt.

      Despite all the bullshit, this is hard-won progress!

      Here’s to Maine: welcome to Free America!

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