Former Sheriff pushes for Marijuana Legalization in Maine

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 31, 2015.

Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, a police officer-turned-politician, has launched a massive effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine. The bill submitted by Mark Dion, seeks permission to sell marijuana for recreational purpose while taxing it at 15 per cent. The legislation also wants marijuana to be used by adults of 21 and older.

The bill is in the draft stage and further details are being incorporated into it. However, Mark revealed that he is planning to limit the number of retail pot stores to 20 so that they are not easily available to people. The bill aims at setting up a regulatory structure for retail stores and cultivators, and tax on sales.

Mark Dion was Cumberland County Sheriff for 12 years and a Portland police officer for 21 years before being elected as a House member. He admitted that his proposal is a bit conservative by nature, but he believes it would address all concerns related to legalization of recreational marijuana.

Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine, has adopted a cautious approach, saying he wants to see the language of Dion's proposal before making any comment. Legalize Maine has been making efforts to collect signatures to legalize recreational marijuana in the state by 2016.

Dion’s bill is backed by the Maine Association of Dispensary Owners. However, Scott Gagnon, Director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine, has opposed any move to legalize recreational marijuana. Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, also has submitted a marijuana legalization bill, but she has not yet drafted the provisions.

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