Governor LePage vetoed a bill to license, tax, and oversee marijuana sales in Maine.
Governor Paul LePage struck down a bill that was aimed at regulating recreational marijuana sales. Industry advocates are now hoping the legislature will override LePage’s decision.
Lepage said he did not want to be in violation of federal law. He also claimed that he was worried about the impact legal marijuana sales could have on children and predicted an increase in traffic fatalities.
“Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine,” LePage wrote. “If we are adopting a law that will legalize and establish a new industry and impose a new regulatory infrastructure that requires significant private and public investment, we need assurances that a change in policy or administration at the federal level will not nullify those investments.”
But LePage is not scoring risk-free political points by pushing back against the state legislature. Business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees are all impacted by LePage’s decision. There could be many jobs and tax revenues eliminated with this move. And what could even be more troublesome for LePage is the fact that Maine Voters approved Question 1, which legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2016. Is the Governor signaling that he does not feel bound by the will of his own residents?