Today is the final day that Maine’s governor could veto the pot bill that would start the regulation of legal recreational weed in the state. Although Maine has technically legalized recreational reefer, it remains illegal to sell—making it impossible for the state to reap the benefits of legalization.
Marijuana In Maine
In 2016, residents of the state of Maine voted in favor of legalizing weed for recreational use. The state has had medical marijuana since 1999. Interestingly, the state first decriminalized small amounts of pot back in 1976. They were the third state to decriminalize it.
Then in 2009, Governor John Baldacci updated the decriminalization of weed by signing a piece of legislation that made possession of 2.5 ounces or less of pot a civil, rather than criminal, matter.
Last year when Maine residents voted to legalize recreational cannabis, the state was left in a sort of grey area.
As it stands now, adults may grow, possess and consume weed (up 2.5 ounces). But selling and purchasing it is still not technically legal. Giving weed as a gift to another adult is though.
So, if you so happened to purchase a bag from someone, and the seller just happened to include the gift of ganja in said bag, that would be legal. Because, you know, you’re not technically buying weed; you’re buying a bag.
In October, Maine’s House and Senate passed a new write-up of the Marijuana Legalization Act. The rewrite outlined the steps needed to implement regulated, licensed and taxed cannabis in the state.
“This was our chance to do our job and protect the people of Maine as we follow the law and create this new industry,” Representative Teresa Pierce said.
Indeed, the legislation is meant to reduce black market cannabis and raise tax revenue for the state.
When the rewrite was passed by the House and Senate, it was given to Maine’s governor: Paul LePage. This is where things get dicey.
Governor Paul LePage
Paul LePage is the current governor of Maine. A member of the Republican Party, his views are in accordance with many others of his ilk. He has expressed opposition to abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The governor seems to have a particular animosity toward transgender people, particularly transgender students. He doesn’t believe that human activity causes global warming, and he is staunchly against universal healthcare.
He’s also opposed to cannabis legalization and thinks that weed is a gateway drug.
Today is the last day Maine’s governor could veto the pot bill that would regulate legalized cannabis in the state. He has had 10 days to act on the bill but has yet to take any sort of action.
Final Hit: Today’s The Last Possible Day Maine’s Governor Could Veto Pot Bill
Because of Governor Paul LePage’s vehement opposition to weed, the likelihood of him signing the bill into law is slim to none. While everyone involved is expecting him to veto the bill, there is another possibility. LePage might not do anything at all with the bill. In that case, the bill would become a law, even without his signature.
Since a show of support for cannabis legalization is likely not in the cards, an absence of action is the best thing to hope for at this point to get Maine’s legalized recreational weed market close to being up and running.