Maine Update: Legalization Bill Filed, Two Groups Seeking Ballot Initiatives

A bipartisan bill to legalize marijuana in Maine was filed on Tuesday by Rep Diane Russell (D.-Portland), a long-time champion of marijuana reform in the state.

The bill is co-sponsored in the House by four other Democrats and two Republicans, as well as by two Democrats and one Republican in the Senate.

LD1380, An Act to Tax, Legalize, and Regulate Marijuana, would make it legal for adults of at least 21 years to buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. Adults would also be allowed to grow up to six plants at home, and could gift up to an ounce or six plants to another adult.

A 10% tax would be levied on all retail sales of marijuana, and the first $30 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales each year would be earmarked for public school construction, improvement, and repair.

Two pro-legalization groups in Maine are also expected to begin collecting signatures to put recreational MJ proposals on the ballot in 2016. Legalize Maine, which filed its petition more than two months ago, has sought to get its petition through without the help of national political groups.

Another group, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, submitted a different ballot initiative earlier this year with support from the Marijuana Policy Project, the D.C.-based group responsible for both Colorado’s and Alaska’s successful reform efforts.


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