House Republicans Deal Blow To Marijuana Bill
Monday, the Maine House of Representatives voted 84-53 to preliminarily pass LD 1650 “An Act To Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act”, but the vote fell short of the 101 votes needed to pass the bill as emergency legislation or survive a potential veto from the governor.
Due to a variety of issues with LD 1650 that have still not been addressed, a majority of House Republicans made the decision to vote against the bill.
Below are statements from House Republican Leader Rep. Ken Fredette of Newport and Rep. Patrick Corey (R) of Windham. Rep. Corey is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation and voted against the bill.
“I believe that it is important that we pass a bill that regulates and taxes adult-use marijuana. That said, LD 1650 is not ready to do that,” said Rep. Corey. “Above all else, the excise tax scheme does not raise adequate revenue and there was no way of knowing that until the fiscal note was published last Friday afternoon. Maine’s people are watching. I’m positive that their expectation is that we pass a bill that generates more revenue than what it takes to run the program.”
“With today’s vote, the legislature clearly does not have enough votes to move this bill forward over a governor’s veto,” said House Republican Leader Rep. Ken Fredette. “While we recognize the committee did some good work, there is obviously more work to be done when we return in January.”