More Than 40 Maine Lawmakers Sign Memo Urging Consideration of Marijuana Legalization

On Friday, more than 40 state lawmakers in Maine co-signed a memo authored by State Representative Diane Russell that was delivered to the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee. The memo encouraged the committee to keep all options on the table in their upcoming financial deliberations, including potential tax revenue derived from an adult, non-medical market for marijuana.

“All options should be on the table,” Rep. Russell stated in the memo, “In this spirit, we propose committee members give serious consideration to the revenue options associated with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis for responsible adult use.”

The memo was signed by prominent elected officials in the state including Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Allagash), House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), Minority Whip Alex Willette (R-Mapleton), House Chair of Criminal Justice and Public Safety and former County Sheriff Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland), and House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Richard Farnsworth (D-Portland).

In 2013, the Maine House of Representatives fell just four votes short of approving a measure introduced by Rep. Russell which would have placed the issue of marijuana legalization before voters during the fall elections.

Last week, initial tax revenue estimates for the sales tax on recreational marijuana in Colorado were estimated to be just shy of 100 million dollars, far higher than the initial 70 million dollar estimate given to voters in 2012.

17 thoughts

  1. don’t worry people once the gov of other states see the cash flowing in from sales (taxes) in Wash and Colorado their greed will make them legalize it. they cant help themselves they love to spend our money to much

  2. Yes, consider the tax bonanza. But far bigger is government SAVINGS on programs to help indigent, low-income individuals suffering from originally PREVENTABLE $igarette-$moking-related illnesses (had young persons “experimented” with cannabis instead of addictive nicotine tobacco). According to 2014 Surgeon General Report, “tobacco” chronic illness treatment and lost productivity cost the US economy $289,000,000,000 a year.

  3. Dear Politician what ever your party,

    What side of the fence do you sit on? legalization or prohibition.

    Eventually supply will meet demand in Colorado and Washington. When this happens the money train will not be nearly what it is now!!! Businesses are being built around this market, why not get in early on this CASH COW?!!!
    (Think Budweiser, Coors,Jack Daniels post prohibition)

    Put down your cigar, cigarette, beer, brandy, coffee, prescription pills, heroin or your cholesterol medicine. They are all drugs, so stop judging me on my drug of choice.

    Gateway drug? no sorry not if regulated. Did I buy beer when I was under age? Oh wait I did so then beer was my gateway drug, better make it illegal (sarcasm). We can play this game all night.

    Save our jail cells for violent offenders, the people who hurt people. It will even ease the burden on our court system and save money.

    Real jobs will come to our states, farming, industrial, real estate,even your local glass blower if you encourage growth. Not McJobs but real good paying jobs. Wait and you will only be fighting the majority who want this. You will be missing out on job creation and economic growth, while jailing your own citizens.

    Maine is not to far from New York and it is a beautiful state to visit. I would love to go back and spend a week there real soon. I have some vacation money to spend.

    Or New York could figure this one out first and keep my money here.

  4. Kudos to Diane Russell; her perseverance seems to be paying off. I wish we could borrow her for a year or two in my state.

  5. What great support Maine has. I love watching the fall. I’ll be glad when its all just funny stories I tell my grandchildren and they say,”Tell it again grampa,… tell it again,… its so funny.”, and to which I’ll say,”Ok,..”
    Once upon a time there was this great country called North Hypocrisy, and in it lived a people called the Smart Majority who lived in the low lands and they were ruled by an evil lying king named Stupid Minority. After lying to the great people of North Hypocrisy and making them live in the low lands for a hundred years they just stop believing the lies and used Democracy to get rid of the lying king and move to the high lands. And they change the name of North Hypocrisy to North Honesty and lived health-ally ever after laughing at Stupid Minority forever.
    The End

    @mexweed
    “According to 2014 Surgeon General Report, “tobacco” chronic illness treatment and lost productivity cost the US economy $289,000,000,000 a year.” Brilliantly reported to right place. I doubt if the damage inflicted to humans over the course of this war on marijuana will ever be accurately calculated, but that sure brings perspective to its enormity.

  6. I know the caregivers association in maine are against this but It’s time folks. We’ve had the conversation, its time.

  7. Instead of all of the regulation the US should NOW sell the Cannabis Stamp that nobody can currently buy.

    Charge a reasonable price of perhaps $125.00 for a stamp that allows a person to grow perhaps 12 female plants and a mother plant plus a couple of males for future seed needs.

    I see this as a way to put a reasonable tax, fees to support a small regulatory commission and money for the state; this would be good for people who wish to supply their own needs without the need for large business but not to prohibit businesses from participating in retail outlets.

    Too much regulation or tax will simply shift the focus of the police into unintended (as of now unimagined) areas of the everyday life of US citizens resulting in little gain for anyone.

  8. @ david,

    Bootlickers? Because it’ll entail taxes? Mankind’s been licking boots since the advent of civilization. Do you decry taxes when you buy a six pack? How about a car? a house? in many states even food? Please get real. There’s very little that’s new about the New World Order.

  9. @Boot Lickers:

    This country was founded over a tax on tea, and now you are begging for a tax on THC.

    That is pathetic in my book. Considering how many billions are wasted locking people up. It’s not Lobster, or trees. It is a fast growing renewable resource.

    I dont buy six packs because they are taxed. Unfortunatly I have a gun to my head when I buy a car so I am forced to pay taxes. Just following orders sir!

  10. @ David,

    Who’s “begging” for a tax on THC? I just don’t live in a fantasy world where nobody pays taxes but still gets all the benefits of a taxed society. The idea that you can actually have a society without providing some means for it to operate is a utopian dream that hasn’t existed in centuries (if ever) . . . at least since mankind was still living in purely tribal societies. Sorry, but we can’t go back to the tribal days where people traded goats for services. (And even in tribal society each individual has/had to contribute to the good of the society–I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any tribe where it was every man for himself, lol.)

    You don’t buy six-packs so you won’t have to pay taxes? Do you also not drive on your town’s streets? Drink the water out of your tap? Do you grow your own food as well?

    BTW, regarding the taxed tea to which you’re referring–the reason people were upset was because we were getting taxed without representation. Last I heard every state in the union now has a representative, or two or twenty, and even a couple of senators. There are even these entities called state representatives. No, you have plenty of representation; now, whether or not they follow your specific wishes is another thing.

  11. I try very hard to not drink fluoridated tap water.

    I don’t get taxed at rite-aid when I buy RX pills.

  12. “This country was founded over a tax on tea, and now you are begging for a tax on THC. That is pathetic in my book. Considering how many billions are wasted locking people up. It’s not Lobster, or trees. It is a fast growing renewable resource. I dont buy six packs because they are taxed. Unfortunately I have a gun to my head when I buy a car so I am forced to pay taxes. Just following orders sir!”
    And you Sir are the kind of simple people that ruined the Tea Party. Thanks for nothing. Seriously, what is “wrong” with paying taxes? And what country was founded over a tax on tea, not the USA, talk about being a bootlicker and not even knowing it. You do not realize the all breaks will be going to companies, not people under their plans don’t you? We they talk about “expanding freedom” they mean “the freedom to poison people with the victims being not able/allowed to defend themselves”. Bootlicker, take a look in the mirror.

    The laws so far are a bit deficient are some do not allow home cultivation–this is a bootlicking law. One that still says officers have any reason to be kicking someone’s door over marijuana certainly falls under “bootlicking”. Private small sales should also be allowed–as some folks just cannot grow any plants at all.

    Paying taxes is a good thing. Having that money stolen by the police-state politicians so the police can continue pretending marijuana is a threat justifying the Insane Drug War, now that is a bootlicking joke.

  13. Eventually the state governments will see the value of the income supplied by marijuana, and legalize it. The economy would mot likely be boosted if it was legalized nation-wide, as it is a natural product, and it is very valuable in the terms of medicinal use.

  14. “… legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis for responsible adult use.”

    This must include encouraging the manufacture and marketing of 25-mg single toke utensils which themselves de facto “REGULATE” the use of the herb– preventing the drug cocktail of heat shock, carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins which results from “joint”-smoking.

    The slogan “regulate cannabis like alcohol” is wrong in several key ways:

    a. It is a falsehood and a slander to imply that cannabis is a drug like alcohol.

    b. Alcohol is marketed in quart bottles, 24-ounce cans and other containers which are non-resealable– so that drinkers who are ignorantly afraid or ashamed to let a half-emptied dose sit overnight (it gets “flat” etc.) are incentivized to binge-overdose in the first hours after opening. This is analogous to the H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide pre-rolled “joint”– 500 mg per light-up burned away in minutes, unless you aren’t afraid to carry a stinking roach around risking arrest…

    (c) The present regulation regime has permitted the alcohol market (mainly beer) to be over half dominated by a handful of mega-companies. Forbidding individual households to raise a few plants each is how the same harm would be done with cannabis.

    There is something WORSE than taxes on cannabis! That is a regime like presently in the UK where ONE private-profit company (GW Pharm.) is allowed to market a whole-plant preparation, Sativex– BUT at PRICES monstrously higher than in CO or WA! Together with continued Law Enforcement against allegedly evil independent CANNABIS growers, this keeps the price of both legal and illegal cannabis high enough to divert 200,000 UK youngsters yearly into NICOTINE ADDICTION PSYCHOSIS.

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