Two Maine groups that had been competing to put their marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot have joined forces, ending what had been a pot duel.
This new development ends the possibility of competing measures on the 2016 ballot that advocates say could have split the vote and it also eliminates the possibility that voters would pass two legalization questions, which would have forced the legalization language into the hands of the Legislature.
Legalize Maine and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol launched their separate initiatives last winter, the groups met but were unable to agree on details, including the amount of marijuana adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess.
David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said “folks were confused as to why there were two initiatives that both made marijuana legal and were very similar.” He added, “We have come together to unite with our best foot forward, combine our resources and make sure we have a chance to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”
Both groups claim they have each raised 40,000 signatures. They will need a total of 61,121 by January to get on the 2016 ballot. Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine, called the announcement “a major milestone on the path to ending marijuana prohibition in Maine” in a news release.
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