By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
Residents of Maine may get the opportunity to vote on ending their state's marijuana prohibition this fall, if lawmakers approve of an amended version of LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana in the coming weeks.
LD 1229 was introduced earlier in the session by Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) and 35 co-sponsors. Despite the unprecedented legislative support, the measure faced a challenging work session last week, which initially looked as if it would scuttle the bill entirely.
Fortunately for supporters of ending prohibition, the fight continues on despite the negative recommendation out of committee. Representative Russell and the bill's supporters intend to take the fight for legalization to the House floor in the coming weeks and they need our help. Thanks to amendments offered by Senators Plummer and Wilson, LD 1229 was revised to contain only a simple referenda component. If the amended bill is approved, it would place the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana on the ballot in Maine this fall. It will be a straight up or down vote on marijuana legalization, regulatory authority will fall to the legislature if the people of Maine vote in favor of this measure.
If you live in Maine, it is more imperative than ever that you reach out to your elected officials and urge them to support LD 1229. Regardless of their opinion on marijuana legalization itself, they should support this legislation which would allow the people of Maine to voice their opinion on this incredibly important issue. Tell your state politicians to "Let the People Decide" and to support LD 1229. Clickhere to quickly and easily do so.
Whether you live in Maine or not, we encourage you to sign this petition being circulated by the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Russell, and help us send a resounding message to lawmakers in Maine that it is time to let the people vote on this issue.
NORML will keep you updated as this legislation moves forward.
Together, we can legalize marijuana in Maine in 2013.