The state of Maine is notorious for its successful medical cannabis program, and now they may even go one step further for the November election. Question 2 is on the ballot for Maine, and it would allow for the recreational sale of cannabis for adults ages 21 and over, if passed.
While this is great news for cannabis activists everywhere, there has been some opposition to legalization. The Maine Chiefs of Police Association formally announced that it does not support cannabis legalization set out by Question 2, according to Maine Public Broadcasting.
Chiefs stated that they believe legalization would in fact make their jobs more difficult and create new problems. Lieutenant John Kilbride works at the Falmouth Police Department. Kilbride seems to ignore the positive benefits that cannabis legalization has brought to regions like Colorado and instead is focusing on the same “reefer madness” scare tactics of the past. “Letting them know how this is going to affect their youth, their schools, their emergency rooms, the roads they walk and ride their bikes on.” Kilbride said, “The limited resources that we have to manage this. We are just not ready as a law enforcement entity to handle all the problems that Colorado is experiencing.”
On the contrary, Colorado has seen a huge amount of profits from the legal cannabis industry, which has in turn benefitted public goods like educational institutions. Kilbride is wrong in his statement, which was noticed by Alysia Melnick, who is part of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. “The Maine chiefs of policy are important members of our community, but on this policy they are wrong,” Melnick said. “Regulating and making marijuana legal for adults is working in other states. Youth access and use of marijuana has not gone up.”
In fact, cannabis legalization has been great for public health. Studies have shown that in states where cannabis has been legalized, the use of prescription drugs and drug related deaths went down significantly.
If Question 2 passes in Maine this November, the positive benefits to the people of Maine will be enough proof to show Kilbride is mistaken.