CONTACT: Paul McCarrier, 207-615-4457 Legalizemaine@gmail.com Maine Secretary of State Approves 2016 Ballot Measure to Legalize Marijuana
Legalize Maine volunteers plan to collect over 62,000 signatures in the coming months
Augusta,ME- Ten weeks after submitting its petition to legalize marijuana to the Maine Secretary of State’s office, Legalize Maine has received its final petition and is collecting signatures. After a monumental fund raising quarter, the home grown legalization initiative has a strong lead ahead of the DC based initiative.
“This is a historic moment, not just for Maine, but for the nation. We are the first to put a homegrown initiative on the ballot without backing from national marijuana organizations. We seek to support local people before national interests and focus on stimulating our local economies by keeping the profits in state.” said group President Paul McCarrier
“We have been waiting weeks for this day and we are hitting the ground running. Our volunteers have been chomping at the bit to start collecting signatures and we are distributing petitions to them. We have an incredible team and a lot of horse power heading into this.” Said McCarrier
Legalize Maine submitted its petition on February 11th and has been working with the Secretary of State and Office of Fiscal and Policy Review (OFPR) to get language finalized. The estimate of fiscal impact states that “ Assuming January 1, 2017 effective date, State General Fund Revenue would increase by $3,887,400 in fiscal year 2016-2017 and Local Government Fund revenue would increase by $204,600 in fiscal year 2016-2017 from sales tax.
“We appreciate the hard work of the Secretary of States office and OFPR, they deserve a lot of thanks for their roll in this new world of policy. We believe the OFPR estimate proves that our measure will be a jobs act first and will create thousands of much needed jobs across the state.” McCarrier said in reference to the projected tax figures.
When asked about the competing initiative submitted by the DC based group, McCarrier explained that Maine already has an excellent homegrown ballot initiative that was put together with input from all of the local stakeholders. “We do not understand why MPP sees the need to confuse the public by submitting an additional initiative that clearly favors big investors who want to gain a foothold in Maine’s marijuana industry.”
In summary, the Act To Legalize Marijuana would:
- Allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.
- Create a system where the Department of Agriculture would regulate the cultivation, manufacture, testing and sale of marijuana.
- Produce a regulatory scheme where elected representatives have the final say in rules and regulations.
- Provide local communities the authority to regulate and prohibit marijuana businesses.
Guarantee that small to medium sized cultivators are an integral part of the system.
“It’s time to put the question before Maine voters. We are confident that Mainers will support our plan to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana as an agricultural product,” said McCarrier “Marijuana has been an economic engine for Maine’s rural economy for the past 50 years and it’s time for Mainers to decide if they want to legalize that section of the economy or not.”