Maine marijuana advocates seeking legalization file proposal for statewide ballot question

Associated Press

Maine residents who are campaigning for their state to legalize marijuana say they have filed their proposal for a statewide ballot question.

The group calls itself The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and it's an effort of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. The campaign submitted its initiative Tuesday to state officials, said Falmouth resident David Boyer, the group's leader and Marijuana Policy Project's Maine political director.

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The initiative proposes that adults 21 and older should be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home. It would also create a "tightly regulated" retail and cultivation system and rules for governing production, testing, transportation and sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products, the group said in a statement.

The group will need to collect 61,123 signatures to get on the 2016 ballot if the initiative is accepted by the Maine secretary of state. A rival group, Legalize Maine, is also organizing a petition drive for a legalization ballot question of its own.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine, which opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana, released a statement Tuesday saying legalizing the drug would "burden Maine's economy with increased social costs."