Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced Friday they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine. Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters.
Statement from David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:
"Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole. We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.
"We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall. We would not get behind this measure unless we were 100% confident that it will effectively and responsibly end prohibition in Maine. We're also confident that the voters will agree."
Statement from Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine:
"This is a major milestone on the path to ending marijuana prohibition in Maine. Either of these campaigns could be successful on their own, but together we can put our best feet forward in 2016. The voters are ready to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy, and we're committed to working with everyone who wants to help them do it.
"Both campaigns have done a great job of educating voters, organizing volunteers, and raising funds, and now we can ramp up those efforts even more. David and MPP have made some major strides here this past couple years, and they clearly share our commitment to doing what is best for the people of Maine. We're looking forward to working with them to cross the finish line next year."
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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visithttp://www.RegulateMaine.org.