Two marijuana advocacy groups campaigning to bring a full-scale recreational cannabis market to Maine in 2016 have combined forces in an effort to put a single ballot measure in front of the voters in the next election.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, announced its plans to partner with an initiative directed by Regulate Maine. The goal of this allegiance is to bring prohibition to its knees next year by ensuring the voters do not get too discombobulated at the polls over the semantics of two competing initiatives.
“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,” David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in a statement. “We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.”
The decision to become a unified effort rather than battle it out over terminology is a tactic that other states across America may need to get onboard with as time closes in. So far, there are five other states with competing initiatives that are hoping to end prohibition in 2016.
Massachusetts is home to two groups currently collecting signatures to legalize recreational marijuana. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, of course, wants to establish a regulatory system similar to the booze industry, while Bay State Repeal doesn’t want anything to do with imposing any special taxes.
This sort of drama among activists is also consuming the West.
In California, there are multiple competing initiatives working to bring legal cannabis to the Golden State next year. Unfortunately, the unbridled enthusiasm and conflicting opinions over how the state should legalize the leaf has created so much noise that it could potentially sabotage the entire movement.
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a supporter of legalization, remains hopeful that a couple of the initiatives will eventually come together in an effort to keep from confusing voters at the polls. He is concerned that if competing initiatives make it on the ballot, the perplexity of voters having to choose which plan is best might prevent legalization from becoming a reality.
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