The two competing recreational marijuana legalization measures in the state of Maine are coming together in an effort to get one measure on the statewide 2016 ballot.
The group backed by the Marijuana Policy Project—the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol—is suspending its efforts to gather signatures and is instead campaigning for a group called Legalize Maine, a collection of activists and industry heads that come from within the state.
The LM proposal limits possession to 2.5 ounces while the MPP-backed proposal put the limit at 1 ounce, but the two proposals were very similar in many ways. In fact, it got so confusing for prospective petition signers that the MPP-backed group decided that it was pointless to split the vote in such a wasteful way.
“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “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 resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.”
It seems like common sense; maybe something about a dozen groups in California should think about. Multiple groups vying for the same goal rarely works out well. You’re splitting money, time and effort.
Both groups had about the same amount of signatures and the same amount of money raised. Legalize Maine will continue to gather signatures and they have good poll numbers for legalization thus far. They are also in a state that has had medical marijuana since 1999; Maine residents are familiar with cannabis politics and issues.