You may not know this, but I’m from Maine, which is part of the reason I’m especially interested in the battle being waged in the state over recreational marijuana. Maine Gov. Paul LePage was against legalization before citizens voted it in, partially because he’s a moron, and he’s still against it. His idiocy is well documented. Currently, lawmakers are trying to create the regulatory framework for recreational sales while this man-child does everything he can to get in the way.

Maine lawmakers are debating regulations for recreational marijuana sales today, and they’re trying to have sales start by February 2018. LePage and top Republicans in the state, on the other hand, are pushing a bill that would delay sales until 2019.

As an opinion article in the Portland Press Herald explains, this is a major mistake that damages the work of lawmakers who are trying to make progress with legalization:

“For months, a legislative committee, along with caregivers, advocacy groups, public health experts, law enforcement and others, did the hard work of turning Maine’s vote to legalize marijuana into a bill that considers all their points of view.

The bill, which will be reviewed by the Legislature starting Monday, balances those sometimes conflicting views. It sets up a regulatory framework that prioritizes Maine business owners, provides significant tax revenue while curtailing the black market, protects children, and gives police the tools they need to contend with marijuana as a legal drug.”

The article goes on to explain that LePage’s actions are “nothing more than an attempt to subvert the will of the voters and stop an initiative the governor disagrees with,” and that he has refused to be involved in this important process of setting up regulations from the start.

LePage is just using whatever tricks he can to slow legalization, even though the voters approved it. He has an agenda and refuses to work with those who are actually trying to, you know, do the work. And it’s important to note, as the Portland Press Herald article explains, “If LePage’s bill passes, it would push off regulations on retail sales even longer, allowing illegal growing and sales to flourish in its place.” Doesn’t sound great to me.

[Photo by Maine Department of Education/Flickr]

About The Author

Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in Vice, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. He can be found in a run-down whiskey bar. Follow him on Twitter at: @thor_benson.

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