Two marijuana advocacy groups working to make Maine one of the next states to legalize a recreational cannabis industry have decided—rather than continue to fight over semantics—to form a wicked alliance in an effort to get one solid initiative on the ballot in the 2016 election.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, threw its hands in the air on Monday and joined forces with a competing ballot initiative overseen by Legalize Maine. Together, this inbred monster of activism will combine their resources in hopes of collecting the remaining 61,000 signatures needed to put the issue of legal weed up to the voters next year.
“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, in a statement. “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.”
The decision to unite is something that other pro-pot organizations across the United States may want to consider as we move closer to the big election year. As of now, there are five other states working to end prohibition where there are competing ballot initiatives in play.
In Massachusetts, two groups are currently duking it out in an effort to achieve the same basic goal—ending prohibition—but one of the organizations wants to do it by regulating marijuana similar to the alcohol industry, while the other basically wants the same thing but without an excise tax.
And the scene is not much better out West.
California, right now, is a veritable Thunderdome in which nine competing initiatives are working (against each other) to legalize a full-scale cannabis industry in 2016. Essentially, what these groups are doing is working to maintain a prohibitionary standard in the Golden State by creating an overabundance of noise over what ballot language actually constitutes legalization, normalization, socialization or whatever the hell those people who cannot understand why marijuana will never be regulated like a tomato have labeled their cause. In other words, it’s chaos.
Even Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who is a supporter of legalizing weed in California, hopes these groups can find it within themselves to pool their energy in an effort to ensure that California voters do not get confused at the polls. He argues the perplexity of deciding which initiative to vote for could put a kibosh on all of the measures and keep the state from legalizing altogether.
Apparently, Maine is the first and only state to grasp this simple concept. Organizers there say that while they are certain that either of the two initiatives would have been successful on their own, “together we can put our best feet forward in 2016.”