The marijuana legalization law approved by voters on Election Day included a nine-month window for lawmakers to create a regulatory system. However, a proposal to postpone implementation until February 2018 was tacked on to a bill designed to address errors and unintended consequences in the citizen-initiated legislation. Sen. Chenette said the Legislature should begin the process of creating the regulatory framework first, and seek an extension only if necessary.
“What you are suggesting here is a request of more time to work on something that we haven’t even started to work on,” Sen. Chenette said to members of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, who held a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday. “How do you know we can’t put in our due diligence and develop a complete regulatory framework within the 9 month timeline that was allotted to us by Maine voters?”
The bill in question would also address an unintended consequences in the marijuana legalization referendum, including a provision that erroneously repealed penalties for the possession and use of marijuana by people under 21 years old. Sen. Chenette said that fix, with near universal support from both parties in the House and Senate, should be considered separately from the moratorium and passed as soon as possible.
Full Testimony Below
Rep. Justin Chenette