Governor Paul R. LePage of Maine vetoed a bill to legalize and regulate marijuana on November 3, 2017. In a letter to the Maine Legislature, he urged the Legislature to “sustain this veto and continue to work to get this important law right.” The legislature is schedule to vote on a veto override on November 6, 2017.
The governor cited several reasons for vetoing the bill, including the facts that: marijuana still is illegal under federal law and it is unclear how the Trump administration views recreational marijuana; the regulations do not ensure consistency between the recreational marijuana program and the medical marijuana program; the bill’s unrealistic timelines will result in “hastily-crafted regulation”; and, marijuana-related traffic deaths and other crimes may increase if Maine’s law is not crafted and regulated properly.
In November 2016, Maine was one of four states in which voters approved new recreational marijuana laws. Maine’s law was to take effect on January 30, 2017; however, emergency legislation passed on January 27, 2017 delayed the implementation of the law until 2018 so that the state licensing authority could establish and implement regulations concerning the retail sales of marijuana, among other things.