Maine Marijuana Referendum Campaign

The election is approaching, and advocates for cannabis are pulling out all of the stops to legalize recreational cannabis use.  Proponents have spent more than a half-million dollars on TV ads in advocacy of recreational cannabis while certain law enforcement groups, concerned parents and some members of the medical cannabis community are still in opposition.

One commercial ad features former Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion urging Mainers to legalize marijuana so police can spend time “solving murders, sexual assault cases, finding missing children.”  Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, David Boyer, stated, “People see that it’s time for a new approach.  People are tired of the state using tax dollars to enforce marijuana laws.”

However, the referendum proposal still has its opposers.  a citizens group called Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities fears legalizing recreational use would worsen Maine’s drug epidemic.  While members of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, which represents medical marijuana growers, has its concerns about the preservation of the one-on-one relationship of caregivers and patients.  Allowing recreational use could affect the existing medical program.  A common concern, though, is the interest of  greedy, out-of-state marijuana corporate flooding the Maine market.

There are medical marijuana growers are interested in growing recreational.  However, they do feel as if the canopy space is too limited and larger growers have the potential to dominate the market.

Last month, a poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the Portland Press Herald, indicating 53% of respondents supported the referendum, while 38% opposed it.  A remaining 10% were undecided.