Maine lawmakers vote to sustain gov’s recreational cannabis veto

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The Maine House of Representatives on Monday opted not to overturn the governor’s veto of a bill that would have implemented a recreational marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last year.

Gov. Paul LePage wrote in a veto letter last week that he torpedoed the bill because it “sets unrealistic timelines for launching the market, fails to address shortcomings in the medical marijuana program, creates a confusing regulatory system and might not generate enough tax revenue to cover the cost of market implementation,” the Press Herald reported.

He also stressed that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

The House’s 74-62 vote fell short of the “two-thirds of members present threshold” needed to override LePage’s veto, according to the Bangor Daily News.

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, a LePage ally, said that even if the override vote in the House had succeeded, it probably wouldn’t have changed a moratorium on rec sales that’s in place until February and could be extended.

Since the legislature has failed to establish an implementation scheme, the automatic fallback is the outline contained in last year’s ballot initiative.

It’s also possible, however, that MJ advocates could sue to force the state to establish some sort of regulatory framework.