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Maine Governor Vetoes Bill to Regulate Recreational Marijuana Sales

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Governor LePage vetoed the marijuana regulation bill on Friday, delaying recreational sales in Maine. The reason for the veto: federal prohibition. In the Senate, the regulatory bill passed overwhelmingly. It was not a veto-proof majority in the House.

This week, lawmakers will meet again to potentially override the veto, according to WTKR 3 News. LePage did say that the medical marijuana program is failing. He also mentioned an “exploitation of loopholes” that allowed the medical marijuana program’s patient enrollment numbers to increase.

In a letter, LePage said, “Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine. We need assurances that a change in policy or administration at the federal level will not nullify those investments.”

Erik Altieri of NORML said, regarding the veto that it “is just the latest in a line of anti-democratic attacks coming from his office and his stonewalling will only ensure the prolonged existence of a criminal black market in Maine and deny the state coffers of needed tax revenue.”

Altieri also said, “Maine should be looking at ways to expeditiously implement a robust legalization program that represents what state voters approved at the ballot box.”

LePage cited unreasonable timelines for lawmakers to properly establish regulations. Legal recreational sales are supposed to start on July 1, 2018.