Paul LePage, Maine’s governor, vetoed a bill that would regulate and implement a tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. The bill is a set back to Maine’s efforts to actualize retail markets after residents of Maine voted to legalize marijuana last year. One reason LePage gave for vetoing the bill is because cannabis is prohibited by the federal government. In a letter to state lawmakers the governor wrote, “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 the expansion of legal marijuana in Maine”.
The bill passed the Maine Senate with a veto-proof majority, but not the House. Lawmakers will meet on Monday and have an opportunity to override LePage’s veto. Friday was the last day for LePage to veto bills to regulate the sale of marijuana. Erick Altieri, spokesman for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), described the vetoed bill as the “latest in a line of anti-democratic attacks” Maine is set up to begin legal retail sales of recreational marijuana on July 1, 2018. The path towards the legalization of marijuana has grown and medical marijuana is now legal in a total of 29 states. According to a company that analyzes the marijuana industry, New Frontier Data, the market for legal marijuana could grow to around $21 billion dollars by the year 2020.
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, call Frank T. Luciano. He has almost 40 years of experience in cases of this type. He is also a lifetime member of the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He is a regular visitor to the various courts in and near Hackensack, Paterson and Jersey City.