Chris Kleponis / CNP / Polaris / NewscomFor the last year and a half, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has been blocking implementation of a 2016 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for recreational use. Yesterday state legislators showed their patience with LaPage’s objections had been exhausted, overriding his veto of a bill aimed at creating a system to license and regulate commercial production and distribution of cannabis. The vote was 109 to 39 in the House and 28 to 6 in the Senate, well in excess of the two-thirds required.
LePage’s April 27 veto message made it clear that he is implacably opposed to the marijuana policy that voters endorsed when they approved Question 1 in 2016. “Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance,” he wrote. “The federal government has deemed that marijuana has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In Maine, doctors cannot legally prescribe marijuana to patients; they only ‘certify’ its use. Possession of any amount of marijuana under federal law is a misdemeanor