Although the controversial ballot recount that has been taking place in Maine concerning whether or not the state actually legalized marijuana was expected to conclude sometime during the early part of 2017, it seems the anti-legalization forces that have been jamming up the state’s progress for the past month have officially thrown in the towel.
Over the weekend, the Maine Secretary of State’s office announced that the lynch mob gunning to discredit the validity of the ballots in support of the state’s recreational marijuana ballot initiative (Question 1) had backed off its mission to try and prevent legalization.
“We promised folks that if we came to a point where we could not see any chance of reversing the result, we would not drag the process out,” Newell Augur, legal counsel for the No on 1 campaign, told the Portland Press Herald. “We are satisfied that the count and the result are accurate.”
As of Friday, marijuana’s opposing forces had only counted around 30 percent of the state’s 760,000 ballots.
But there were no signs throughout the entire affair of the results playing out any differently than they originally showed back in November. Some reports have even suggested that the group could tell within its second week of recounting that its pursuit to drag down the intent of Question 1 would undoubtedly fail to produce the desired result.
It goes without saying that the advocates responsible for putting Question 1 before the voters last month are extremely pleased with the opposition’s decision to jump ship.
“We are excited and grateful that the No on 1 campaign has decided not to drag this out any longer so we can start the business of implementation and responsibly regulate marijuana,” said David Boyer, manager of the Yes on 1 campaign.
But while it seems that Maine is now well on its way to establishing a taxed and regulated pot market that allows adults 21 and over to purchase marijuana legally in manner similar to beer, members of the state’s medical marijuana community could soon be put in a position to fight in order to salvage the sanctity of the state’s medical cannabis program.
Last week, during his weekly interview with WGAN News Radio, Maine Governor Paul LePage said the state’s 17-year-old medical marijuana industry was no longer needed because weed would soon be fully legal without a recommendation from a physician.
“If you’ve got recreational marijuana, it’s over the counter,” LePage said. “Why do we need medical marijuana?”
The governor said he plans to push the state legislature in the upcoming session to eliminate the medical marijuana program completely.
Maine’s new recreational marijuana law is set to take effect in January. However, it will likely be at least another year and a half before the state’s retail pot shops are up and running.
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