AUGUSTA – Retail sales of marijuana took a giant step toward reality on Wednesday. That law was one of the bills that Governor Paul LePage had vetoed but was overturned by legislators on veto day.
Lawmakers also debated extending the legislative session.
In all, lawmakers dealt with 20 bills that governor LePage vetoed. About 40 percent of those vetoes were upheld, while legislators overrode others.
Among those rejected by the governor was the legalization of retail sales of recreational marijuana. The measure was passed into law early Wednesday afternoon.
“You know, [in] this bill there were some things we did like, some things that we didn’t, but ultimately we’re glad the legislature’s moving forward with a regulated marketplace,” said David Boyer, political director of the Maine Marijuana Policy Project.
One of the governor’s more controversial vetoes was his rejection of a bill allowing pharmacists to fill Narcan prescriptions for any person regardless of age.
“It is at the pharmacist’s discretion, of course. But as we all know, addiction knows no age, no social boundaries,” House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, said.
A key question legislators debated Wednesday was whether the legislative session should be extended.
“We can call ourselves back in as the Legislature. I spoke with the governor yesterday and he can call us back. So we still have work to do but we’re just not going to do it by extending session,” House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said.
House Democrats favored extending the session.
“There’s no reason why we should be going home with this work incomplete. If we do that, we are sending the message to Maine people that we don’t take our job seriously, that we don’t take them seriously,” Gideon said.
Members of the House of Representatives spent most of Wednesday afternoon debating whether to extend the session. Shortly after 6 p.m., however, House members rejected the effort to extend the session.