Crown Politics

Bid to repeal legal marijuana law dies in Maine Senate

A new push to ask Maine voters again whether they favor legal adult-use marijuana fizzled Tuesday when a majority of the Maine Senate voted against it.

Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, is an outspoken marijuana opponent whose bill called for another referendum about the legality of recreational marijuana. The bill would have put another referendum to voters this November.Cyrway argued that marijuana abuse puts children, communities and families at risk, but failed to garner enough support.

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, was one of three Republican senators who spoke against Cyrway’s bill. Katz, who chaired a special legislative committee that came up with rules for sales and regulation of adult-use marijuana, said that adults already use marijuana in Maine, so having an oversight and safety system in place is preferable to allowing black market sales to continue.

Cyrway’s bill was rejected 18-13 and is now dead. Minutes after that vote, the Senate endorsed an overhaul of Maine’s medical marijuana laws, which had been held up until the recreational marijuana vote, 28-3.

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