The loopholes of legalizing weed in Maine

Gov. LePage signs off on marijuana results

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: The text of the marijuana legislation is here

Update: 1/4/17 -- The Senate and House held their first sessions this morning...The question about marijuana is on a lot of minds here.  Senate Republican leader Garrett Mason said there are too many details for the Legislature to iron out in the six-month session, so he wants a moratorium.

Senate Democratic Leader troy Jackson said there are aspects of the marijuana law that need fixing, but he thinks that legislature can do that in the time they have, and don't need a moratorium. 

A lot of questions are still unanswered. How long would a moratorium be? Even supporters of the law have said they don't expect it to really be implemented until next January. Some think the Legislature needs more time than that. And what would be prohibited?  Would the moratorium apply just to commercial growing and sale of the drug? Or would it try to block the personal use of marijuana? 
And lawmakers will be getting a lot of pressure from people who support the new law, and want it in effect sooner than later. 
  So it may be a while before we know.
 

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After months of opposing Question 1, Maine Governor Paul LePage said Tuesday that he has signed off on the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

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The governor said if the proclamation came across his desk then he likely signed it...the highly anticipated announcement was made during his conservative radio talk show on WVOM.

Now, that the proclamation is signed, Mainers will be able to freely use recreational marijuana thirty days from December 31, 2016.

The Yes On One team that wrote the legislation said Mainers will likely be allowed to use and give up to two-and-a-half ounces of pot by the end of January 2017. 

Under the new law adults, 21 years or older will be allowed to have 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants. 

The Maine Constitution sets the timeline for the citizen’s initiative process: CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

LePage also called on the legislature to place a moratorium on the sale of recreational pot, which the ballot question permits until lawmakers can work out how to regulate marijuana sales.

"There is nothing I can do until the legislature gives me money to set up the infrastructure.I don't think that they realize what they have done. we need to sit down and look at this."

LePage also laughed at estimates from legalization supporters that said Maine could receive 200-million dollars in tax revenue from pot sales by 2020. 

What you need to know:  Legislatures are expected to iron out the rules for marijuana businesses and social clubs over the next year or so.

“There are nine months built into the initiative to flush out the initiative,” said David Boyer, Maine Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project.  “Hopefully in about a year or so stores will be open.”

The rule-making doesn't end at the state level.  Many towns have put a brief ban on the sale of pot.  

Individual cities and towns will decide how they want to regulate marijuana too.  The town of Freeport is meeting at the town hall on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. They will discuss a possible moratorium on the sale of pot.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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