In a move sure to generate fierce debate, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has vetoed a bill that would see the legalisation of recreational cannabis in that state.
This goes against the residents of Maine, who last year voted to approve a measure calling for the regulation and sale of recreational cannabis in the state by the end of 2017.
On Friday, LePage published an open letter explaining his decision and an all to familiar name cropped up once again. Jeff Sessions reportedly offered the governor some key advice to help sway the decision on recreational cannabis;
“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 expansion of legal marijuana in Maine,” stated LePage.
While their is an element of understanding in LePage’s decision to hold off on passing a bill that could be subject to a federal crackdown from the Trump administration, he also bizarrely compared the legalisation of cannabis to the opioid crisis that is sweeping through Maine;
“The dangers of legalizing marijuana and normalizing its use in our society cannot be understated,” LePage explained. “Sending a message, especially to our young people, that some drugs that are still illegal under federal law are now sanctioned by the state may have unintended and grave consequences.”
Maine already has a number of recreational and medical cannabis laws in place. This includes the decriminalisation of cannabis possession weighing 2.5oz or less as well as the decriminalisation of the cultivation of six plants or less. However, the new bill which has been vetoed by LePage would have seen wholesale recreational legalisation akin to Washington State and Colorado.