Is Maine Ready for Legal Marijuana (Cannabis)?
With votes still being recounted from the presidential election on November 8th, it appears the lack of trust in our election process is spreading and now affecting marijuana reform in Maine. Yesterday, Maine announced it would be recounting ballots to recreationally legalize cannabis within the state. I find it in poor taste that political individuals use the excuse of election processes when the outcome does not meet their desired outcome, like those of Governor LePage. Gov. Paul LePage, who has been publically against legalizing marijuana prior to medical cannabis laws passed in 2009, has already said he would delay the state’s recreational legalization process following the Election Day results. Shortly after the election, LePage said he would be taking up the issue with president-elect Donald Trump to find out if the incoming administration would enforce federal laws prohibiting legal marijuana use.
I find it hard to understand how certain state governments have processes in place that either can’t be followed properly or have technical vulnerabilities. As a tech savvy individual, I know that testing and quality assurance is a critical component of any technological release. How can these states release voting systems if doubts or uncertainties are in place? Sometimes technology complicates things and does not meet the core expectation of making something easier. Normally, that is a red flag and the technology should be scrapped or tabled for a later date. If this is truly the case, then why were they released for use in the first place.
We live in a country where the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, is coughing up $2 Million to recount votes in Michigan. Part of Jill Stein’s grievance pertaining to the Michigan election results was the 75,000 ‘blank votes’ from around the state, but concentrated in Detroit. Apparently, about 75,000 people showed up to vote down ballot, but they didn’t vote for president. To Stein that is suspicious and reason enough to conduct a recount. If other candidates were equally as concerned, why didn’t the Clinton campaign pay for the recount? Clinton obviously would have the most to gain. I see that there is an anomaly here, but is it that hard to conceive that people in Michigan didn’t vote for a presidential candidate, because they didn’t believe in any candidate?
In the case of the State of Maine, it appears Maine residents may have to wait longer than expected before they can use recreational marijuana legally. Voters approved Question 1 by more than 4,000 votes on Election Day, but the state called for an official recount on Monday, according to reports. The recount was backed by opponents of the legal recreational use measure after unofficial results showed Question 1 was only supported by one percent of voters. Recreational cannabis was approved by 381,692 votes while 377,619 people disapproved the new law and prohibitionist are trying to capitalize on the fear of vote tampering.
So let me get this right… stoners who want legalized weed tampered with election results so it would pass, all the while, opponents to legalization with all the financial backing of big pharma sat back and wouldn’t dare to intervene. It’s not like Insys, the manufacturer of the deadly painkiller Subsys fentanyl, did not back anti-cannabis legislation in Arizona. It even has developed a drug based on a synthetic version of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC. Called Syndros, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July for treatment of AIDS and cancer patients’ symptoms. It is awaiting scheduling by the Drug Enforcement Administration. I mean come on now!
There is still hope for Maine Marijuana
If ballots are found to be valid, adults 21 and up will be allowed to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants. State officials would have up to nine months to create regulations for the recreational law, following which recreational dispensaries and social clubs would be able to open for business. (or in the eyes of LePage )
Maine was one of three states to pass recreational marijuana laws on Election Day along with California, Massachusetts and Nevada. Looks like I have a lot to look forward to, like many of you, in the North East. I love to think that I can go on a weekend trip soon and not have to worry about transporting my medicine and getting arrested. Here’s to hoping Malloy and others opens their eyes and actually try to help boost the Connecticut economy with cannabis legalization.