Maine marijuana legalization groups unite behind one measure

Chances for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maine improved Monday after advocates rallied around a single measure aiming for the 2016 ballot.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced in a press release that it has abandoned its legalization bid and will instead back an initiative spearheaded by Legalize Maine.

Legalize Maine has reportedly collected about 40,000 of 61,000 signatures necessary to place the measure on a statewide ballot. The deadline to submit signatures is Feb. 1.

The competing campaign had gathered around 40,000 signatures as well but eventually determined it was better to support Legalize Maine’s measure so that two initiatives don’t appear on the ballot, which could sink the chances of both.

Among other differences, the proposal by Legalize Maine would make up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana legal, while the proposal by its former rival – which was backed by the Marijuana Policy Project – would have made one ounce legal.