Maine lawmakers will consider legalizing marijuana

Marijuana legalization is getting plenty of attention in Maine. Two groups have announced planned petition drives to put their version of legalization on the 2016 ballot. Now a state lawmaker is getting involved.

Picture of Maine State Rep. Diane Russell

Maine State Rep. Diane Russell confirmed by phone Monday that she will file a bill to legalize marijuana and tax it like alcohol in the coming 2015 session. Lawmakers and stakeholders are working out the language of the final draft, but Russell says it will resemble Colorado’s version of legalization more than Washington’s.

Russell (pictured right) says the bill will include caregivers and home cultivation, both major concerns in Maine’s marijuana debate. She says its taxation model will be similar to that of Colorado.

“I think there is a chance something could go through,” said David Boyer by email. Boyer serves as Maine Political Director for Marijuana Policy Project, one of the groups working on a 2016 ballot initiative. He also helped with the current draft of the bill.

Boyer says that a referendum would need to be attached to the bill for it to pass and added that the MPP is will determine after the seeing the final draft whether to support it.

Russell declined to provide a copy of the current draft bill.


Published by P. Aiden Hunt

Aiden Hunt is a creative writer and freelance journalist covering marijuana policy and other related issues. He has been published in print and online by outlets such as The Denver Post (The Cannabist),, The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine and Cronic Magazine. He is currently focused on literary creative nonfiction.

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