AUGUSTA – The marijuana issue is one of hundreds state lawmakers will consider over the months ahead. They returned to the statehouse Wednesday to begin their work.
Legislators filed into their respective chambers for the 10 a.m. Call to order on Wednesday, marking the start of the 128th session of the Maine Legislature.
Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, (D), Freeport said “My hopes are that all of us, democrats and republicans, are thinking about Maine people everyday and what’s best for them.”
While members of both parties say they want to work together, there is already dissension on how to deal with recently approved referendum questions. In fact, question one: the legalization of recreational marijuana use is igniting intense debate.
Senate President, Mike Thibodeau, (R), Winterport added “If this were to go into effect without some sort of action by the legislature, people could drive down the road smoking marijuana, the state police could pull them over and there’s nothing they could do about.”
Republicans favor a statewide moratorium on legal marijuana, until the law can be fine-tuned, democrats disagree.
“I think when we’re talking about either possession or cultivation that becomes legal on January 30th. And there is no scenario where we want to interfere with that.” stated Representative Gideon.
But leaders of both parties said clarification is needed for some parts of the pot law.
Senate Minority Leader, Troy Jackson, (D), Allagash said “I don’t know that it’s as big a challenge as some people think it is. I don’t really see at this point that we need a moratorium.”
“Every day, I learn something new. A new aspect to the implementation of legalizing marijuana.” added Senator Thibodeau.