By Steve Elliott
Maine voters could be looking at not one but two marijuana legalization measures on the 2016 ballot, if two competing groups are both successful at qualifying for the ballot.
Legalize Maine, based in the northeastern part of the state, on Wednesday announced a plan to have its own measure on the ballot, joining the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which has already announced its referendum, reports Sarah Delage atr WCSH.
Paul McCarrier of Legalize Maine said the group is focused on jobs. According to McCarrier, marijuana legalization would bring economic development to rural areas.
McCarrier said his group is moving forward with its own legalization plan after talking with people in other states who have worked with the Marijuana Policy Project.
"We are not interested in being subjugated to MPP or the Washington D.C. policy," McCarrier said. "These will be competing measures and we will win."
MPP, based in the District of Columbia, plans to put a similar question on the 2016 ballot. The group put the question to voters in Portland and South Portland, where it was approved, and in Lewiston, where voters rejected it.
"Ideally it makes sense to have one initiative," said David Boyer of MPP. "But if we can't see eye to eye then we will move forward and we hope voters choose the plan that will make marijuana legal and stop punishing adults for using a substance safer than alcohol."