AUGUSTA – The measure to legalize marijuana in the State of Maine passed in November but some legislators want to see a statewide moratorium on pot sales.
Other legislators say it goes against what the people of Maine voted for.
The vote was close, but it passed. The marijuana referendum gives the legislature and state agencies nine months to establish rules and regulations for the sales and usage of cannabis. Now, legislative leaders, republicans and democrats, agree an extra three months is needed to tinker with the law.
David Boyer of The Maine Marijuana Project stated “This year or two means adults will have to continue to go to the black market for marijuana. That’s what we’re trying to stop.”
Legislators said they just plan to fine-tune the referendum. If the moratorium passes the full legislature it would still allow possession and cultivation of marijuana come January 30th.
Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, D-Freeport added “The outstanding question here is regarding the sale of marijuana and all of the licensing and regulation that goes along with that.”
Marijuana legalization advocates say any moratorium disregards the will of the people who approved the legalization when they cast their ballots November 8th.
“I also think that most people, including many of the people who voted for it, would expect the legislature to set reasonable guidelines.” said Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport.
This bill will next go to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. It’s expected a public hearing on the issue will be held as early as the middle of next week.