Maine Initiative Recount Wasting Time and Taxpayer Money


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Last week, the group opposing the successful initiative to make marijuana legal in Maine moved forward with a recount, despite the cost to the taxpayer and the very slim chances of overturning Question 1.yes1

“We respectfully ask the No on 1 Campaign to follow the lead of the No on 2 Campaign and withdraw their recount request,” said David Boyer, Campaign Manager for the Yes on 1 Campaign. “There is no evidence that a recount would change the result of Question 1. At the same time, $500,000 would be wasted on the process of recounting ballots. That’s half a million taxpayer dollars that should be spent on heating homes and funding schools.”

The most recent statewide recount in Maine was the 2010 Oxford Casino initiative, when the opposition campaign demanded a recount. The Yes campaign won the original vote by 4,723 votes, and after roughly 20% of the recount was complete, the margin of victory actually increased.

Not satisfied with simply wasting taxpayer money, the prohibitionists couldn’t even be bothered to show up to the first day of counting with the legally required number of people to count the votes!

David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1, said volunteers with his campaign pitched in to count for the “No” side to keep the process going on Monday and Tuesday.

“That is, quite frankly, silly. The whole point is to ensure the integrity of the vote and they can’t be bothered to do that,” he said. “What are we doing here?”

Boyer said the No on 1 campaign’s “lack of organization is costing taxpayers more money because it’s going slower.”

 

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Former Maine Sheriff Supports Question 1 in New TV Ad


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The campaign in support of Question 1, the initiative to regulate and tax marijuana in Maine, held a news conference  this week to announce its final push before the election, including the launch of its first TV ad.

The ad features former Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion, who spent 32 years in law enforcement and understands as well as anyone why it is time to end marijuana prohibition. Watch the ad below.

 

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UPDATE: Maine Campaign Files Lawsuit Challenging Initiative Disqualification


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Scott Anderson and David Boyer

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine filed a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify the measure from the November ballot. According to the suit, which is now available online at http://bit.ly/1pzNhVO, state officials improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on the measure.

Campaign leader David Boyer and attorney Scott Anderson announced the details of the suit at a news conference in the office of Portland law firm Verrill Dana. Anderson is representing a group of Maine voters who signed the petition in support of the initiative, including Boyer, State Sen. Eric Brakey, and State Rep. Diane Russell, among others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Fighting Ballot Disqualification


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On Wednesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in MaineME Release Header - NEW was notified that their ballot measure had failed to qualify for the ballot. The campaign turned in 99,229 signatures in February, but were told that nearly half of them were invalid. However, more than 17,000 valid signatures, more than enough to make the measure qualify for the ballot, were not counted. The reason: a handwriting technicality.

Supporters are not going to let the state take away the political voices of thousands of resident, and are appealing the decision. Now, the officials in charge of validating the signatures are mixing up their stories.

From U.S. News & World Report:

Maine officials have provided inconsistent accounts about whether they contacted a public notary before denying ballot access to a marijuana legalization initiative based solely on the belief the notary’s handwriting was inconsistent on forms containing 17,000 otherwise valid signatures.

The various tellings of whether the notary was asked for an explanation come amid debate on whether they should have been contacted and whether the signature, which is required on petition forms, actually was inconsistent.

On Wednesday, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap seemed to imply his office contacted the notary before its decision, telling Maine Public Radio, “it became apparent to us that we could not get good answers to our questions about the relationship between the notary and the circulator.”

But on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, Kristen Schulze Muszynski, told U.S. News election staff “did not directly follow up with the notary,” as their signature on forms was “markedly different” from one the state had on file and on other documents they had notarized.

“We’re very concerned about the apparent lack of consistency in statements from the secretary of state,” [Campaign Director David] Boyer says. “When you are about to disenfranchise 17,000 registered voters based on a technicality, it is only logical to take a few simple steps to determine whether the notary signed the petitions or not.”

We will keep you posted as this story develops.

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Maine Campaign Submits More Than Twice Signatures Necessary to Qualify for Ballot


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After months of hard work, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine  have submitted over 100,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State. This effort would not have been possible without the dedication of Mainers who believe in ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition, and the sheer number of signatures is a good indicator of how badly the people want to bring this issue to voters.ME Release Header - NEW

Soon, we will hear back from the Secretary of State, but we are very confident that our campaign collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

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Maine Marijuana Initiative Campaigns Join Forces for 2016


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Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backed by MPP,ME Release Header - NEW will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine. Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Supporters of Making Marijuana Legal in Maine Advertise Their Message on the Streets


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Proponents of making marijuana legal in two of Maine’s largest cities, Lewiston and South Portland, have taken their message to the streets to bring more attention to Question 2 before next week’s vote. If the local referendums pass, they would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older.

“We want to draw attention to the important fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol,” explained David Boyer, Maine Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “If adults want to use a safer substance, there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to.”

The Marijuana Policy Project created a mobile billboard to educate voters about their stance on the referendum. The organization argues that marijuana is safer than alcohol and that adults 21 and older should be allowed to use it. They also hope that the message draws the attention of voters to have their voices heard.

“It is not a presidential year, enthusiasm is not that high among the electorate, but with this issue people register for the first time, they come out to vote for the first time,” said Boyer. “We hear it down in South Portland, we see it here in Lewiston, people are fired-up to vote for this and not much else.”

If you are a Lewiston or South Portland resident, please take the initiative and go out and vote to implement a more sensible marijuana policy in your towns on November 4. Encourage family, friends, and neighbors to do the same! For voter information, visit Maine.gov.

Here’s a list of all the state and local marijuana-related ballot measures voters will be considering on Election Day.

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Police Chief and Marijuana Advocate Debate South Portland Marijuana Ordinance


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According to the Portland Press Herald, the issue of whether to implement a regulated and legal adult marijuana control system in South Portland, Maine took center stage Wednesday at a debate over the upcoming vote. Among the points of contention were whether marijuana is safer than alcohol and whether making marijuana legal will increase teen use.

South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins, a vehement opponent, and Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, David Boyer, debated over the proposal.

Googins continued to perpetuate the misinformation that marijuana is not safer than alcohol.

Boyer, on the other hand, argued that marijuana use is safer than alcohol use, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is attributed to 37,000 deaths across the country annually. Conversely, he noted that no deaths have been attributed to marijuana overdoses.

“Despite this potential harm of alcohol, most would agree adults should be able to responsibly use alcohol. Why should an adult of age to consume alcohol be prohibited from using or from possessing marijuana?” Boyer stated. “It’s time to move beyond ‘Reefer Madness’ and pass laws that make sense.”

In regards to the second point of contention, both Googins and Boyer agreed on ensuring marijuana stay out of the hands of children and teens. However, Googins argued that making marijuana legal would normalize the substance’s use and make it easier for youth to obtain. Boyer countered that marijuana is already prevalent and circulating throughout the community. A better approach would be to focus on preventing marijuana use among teens by allowing adults to purchase marijuana through licensed and regulated businesses.

“I don’t think kids should use marijuana,” Boyer said. “We need to be honest with our kids. Being dishonest with our kids and telling them alcohol is safer than marijuana is dangerous.”

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Marijuana Ordinance Debate Scheduled in South Portland, Maine


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The Current reported that a debate on the ordinance to make marijuana legal in South Portland will be held next week on Wednesday, October 22, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the South Portland High School, 637 Highland Avenue.

The South Portland School Department and Social Studies Department have arranged the event to give concerned residents the opportunity to educate themselves on the issues surrounding the referendum in South Portland prior to Election Day on November 4. If the referendum passes, it will allow residents to use and possess up to one ounce of marijuana, as well as allow the possession of paraphernalia.

Those participating in the debate include David Boyer, the Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who will be arguing in favor of the passing of the ordinance, South Portland Police Chief, Edward Googins, who will be arguing against the passing of the ordinance, and Susan Sharon, of Maine Public Radio, who will be moderating the debate.

Please support the South Portland referendum by attending the debate and encourage friends, relatives, and neighbors to do the same!

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South Portland and Lewiston Referenda Highlight Conflicting Views on the Dangers of Alcohol Versus Marijuana


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Bangor Daily News reported that South Portland and Lewiston, Maine voters, on November 4, will decide whether to make marijuana legal for the use and possession of up to an ounce for citizens 21 years of age and older.

David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said he believes South Portland will pass the ordinance.

“Prohibition has been a failure,” he said. “It’s done nothing to stop the flow of marijuana into the communities.” He added that “58 percent of Americans are ready to move forward with a more sensible marijuana policy,” citing a 2013 Gallup poll. “It’s illogical to punish adults for a substance that’s less harmful than alcohol,” Boyer also stated.

Edward Googins

South Portland Police Chief, Edward Googins, on the other hand, vehemently opposes the ordinance.

“This issue for me as a police chief is that the initiative is not a good thing for our community or anywhere else,” Googins said. According to the chief, marijuana is more dangerous because it “continues to create and perpetuate other problems in society.” “Claims that marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it’s not even funny,” he also stated.

The fact that Chief Googins believes that alcohol is safer than marijuana demonstrates just how misguided the opposition really is. In reality, studies show alcohol to be more toxic, more addictive, and more harmful to the body. The use of alcohol is also more likely to result in violence and injures than marijuana. Overall, the negative impact on the consumer, as well as on the community at large, is more significant when it comes to alcohol consumption; all the more reason to give responsible adults the option to legally use the safer substance.

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