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Maine Lawmakers Snuff Move to Legalize Pot


 A bumper sticker in Maine supports legalization.

There is a movement in Maine to legalize recreational marijuana, as Colorado and Washington State have done. Although the bill was killed last week by a narrow margin, the discussion has not ended.

Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) thinks legalization is inevitable. She sponsored the bill in order to “get ahead of this issue,” so that regulations can be put in place before legalization. Rep. Russell points out that both Washington State and Colorado have been dealing with “serious gray areas” since voters approved legalization last fall.

Her bill was entitled “An Act to Regulate and Tax Marijuana,” and not surprisingly, both regulation and tax figure predominantly in it. Among other items, the bill proposes “an excise tax at the rate of $50 per ounce” (adjusted yearly for inflation), and allows an exemption for “qualifying [medical marijuana] patients and primary caregivers….”

The vote last Friday was a real “nail-biter,” according to David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. That suggests that the movement to legalize—and tax—recreational marijuana in Maine is not yet ready to go up in smoke.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.