The Legislature on Wednesday put the final stamp on a bill to establish a recreational marijuana market in Maine, overriding the veto of Gov. LePage and finally taking a step promised following the success of a citizens initiative in November 2016.
There is a lot of work left to be done, as the state must now write the regulatory rules for licensing, inspection, taxes and more, making it likely there won’t be any pot shops here until next spring. And even then, the work won’t be over – the marijuana market is large and complex, and there is little doubt that lawmakers will be asked to evaluate and perhaps change how it is structured as time goes on.
It is with that in mind that we address two claims put forward by opponents of the bill that require clarification.
ON THE ROAD
The first claim, from Gov. LePage himself, says that there were “staggering increases” in fatal motor vehicle accidents in states with legal recreational marijuana.
It is true that there were increases in motor-vehicle fatalities in Washington and Colorado