After recounting 30 percent of the statewide vote, the No On 1 campaign has conceded and withdrawn their recount request. Marijuana will officially be legal in Maine.
“After counting nearly a third of all the ballots in Maine, it was clear that the recount was not going to change the result,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes On 1. “We are grateful that the No On 1 campaign has conceded and look forward to working together towards a successful implementation of Question 1.”
The Office of the Secretary of State consistently indicated they did not expect much change due to the high precision of Maine’s voting machines, which they report to be 99.9 percent accurate.
Marijuana possession and home cultivation will become legal 30 days after conservative Republican Governor Paul LePage proclaims the election results.
That will almost certainly (and delightfully) piss the execrable Gov. LePage the hell off, since that moron hates pot and has called legalization “deadly.”
Well. Unlike other, more mild-mannered pot sites, Toke Signals is, at this time, going to take a victory lap.
Hey Gov. LePage!
Welcome To Democracy, Asshole
The embarrassing LePage is also known for making many other “insulting, pugnacious, and sometimes vulgar remarks,” as The Boston Globe delicately put it.
Let’s call it as it is: The man has made reprehensibly racist statements.
Last January, he blamed the state’s opioid crisis on out-of-state drug dealers. “These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty – these types of guys – they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home,” LePage told a large crowd, reported Randy Billings at the Portland Press Herald.
“Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road,” the Governor, for some reason, felt it important to point out.
In a failed attempt in August to rebuke understandable claims that he is a racist, the unhinged LePage told a room full of reporters that people of color are the “enemy” in his state’s War On Drugs, reports the NY Daily News.
“You shoot at the enemy, don’t you?” LePage said during a tense press conference the day after leaving a profane voice message for political rival state Rep. Drew Gattine for calling LePage a “racist.” (In return, the Governor called Rep. Gattine a “cocksucker.”)
“You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy,” LePage said. “And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority right now coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin. I can’t help that. I just can’t help it. Those are the facts.”
Yeah, he really said all that. Anyway, back to marijuana.
“Question 1 is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly,” LePage claimed in an anti-Question 1 video. He went on to claim that traffic fatalities have gone up in Colorado since legalization.
Cannabis actually hasn’t had any noticeable effect on traffic deaths in either Colorado or Washington state, according to a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance. The report did find, however, that legal weed has generated $500 million in tax revenue for Colorado.
LePage claims marijuana is three times stronger than it used to be. Even if that’s true, the change occurred before cannabis became legal, so it’s not clear how continued criminalization will address than concern, reports Danial Marans at The Huffington Post.
He then links weed to Maine’s serious heroin and opioid epidemic, claiming that “people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” Cannabis has actually been an effective exit drug for many heroin and opiate addicts.
The availability of cannabis has, in fact, proven to reduce opioid deaths. In the 23 states where medical marijuana was legal in 2014, there were nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from opioid overdoses, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The governor went on to describe a nightmarish future in which children and pets regularly die from accidentally consuming “marijuana snacks,” and in which the sinister “drug culture” takes over on “schools, daycare centers and churches.”
“They will smoke weed and sell pot at state fairs,” LePage added. “Businesses could not fire employees for using marijuana.”
The wonderful Maine state Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) responded that LePage hasn’t spent enough time at state fairs if he doesn’t know marijuana is already being smoked and sold there — without the government making any money off those sales.
Emotions ran so high in Maine over the Marijuana Policy Project-sponsored legalization measure that, even among cannabis supporters, there was division.
This reporter must sadly note that he lost a valued, longterm Facebook friend simply for reporting on the progress of the Question 1 campaign.
Many medical marijuana proponents in the state understandably believe that passage of recreational legalization there will have similarly deleterious effects to the passage of I-502 in Washington state. Patients in Washington, along with hundreds of dispensaries, lost their beloved system of medical cannabis farmer’s markets, through which patients could interact directly with those who cultivated their medicine.