PORTLAND, Maine — Rep. Diane Russell is encouraging the state to get ahead of something she says is inevitable, the legalization of recreational marijuana use. She’ll be bringing her fourth bill to regulate and tax marijuana to the Maine Legislature.
Russell said there are two referendums she thinks will be on the ballot in the next one or two years to legalize the drug. She said if those pass before the state passes a bill, lawmakers will be rushed to set policies. To Russell, it’s the state’s responsibility to be ahead of the game on issues such as this one.
She’s been pushing for the legalization of marijuana use for several years, and the main reason has to do with schools.
“It would dedicate tax revenue, significant tax revenue, to school construction so that we can make sure we’re building new schools and remodeling old schools so our children have an opportunity to have a solid education,” Russell told CBS 13.
If her bill passes, she says marijuana will be handled similar to alcohol. Her bill also will require the state to bring back liquor inspectors that also would monitor marijuana.