Literal buzzkill Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gotten into the ears and mind of Maine (R) governor Paul LePage. Nearly a year after the people of Maine voted legalize the adult use of cannabis, LePage vetoed the bill, citing advice given to him by Sessions.
In a letter he pointed to the divide there would be between medical and recreational and that if all adults could use it, that would be in violation of federal law.
Related Story: Just How Harmful Is Jeff Sessions To Cannabis Legalization?
The kicker here is that LePage sought out “guidance” from the attorney general. Asking Jeff Sessions his opinion on cannabis is akin to asking Taylor Swift her opinion on her exes. “No, don’t date any of them, they’re all rotten,” she might say (or sing). And while there’s a chance she’d be right about some of them, Sessions is so far on the wrong side of history here that LePage may just as well evoked the angry spirit of Harry J. Anslinger.
Sessions must have put the fear of God in LePage, who wrote, “Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine.”
Ironically enough, LePage also pointed to the growing opioid crisis in Maine in particular. It’s a real shame that he clearly hasn’t seen or read the studies showing that cannabis helps to reduce or even stop opiate intake.
Taking a page out of the ’80s “Just Say No” campaign, LePage also wrote, “The dangers of legalizing marijuana and normalizing its use in our society cannot be understated. Sending a message, especially to our young people, that some drugs that are still illegal under federal law are now sanctioned by the state may have unintended and grave consequences.”
I’d say the solution to LePage’s concerns would be to petition his new friend Jeff Sessions to deschedule cannabis so that there really isn’t a mixed message, but clearly LePage’s bias sways the other way.
In a surprise compromise, partial adult use will be allowed. It will be legal to possess less than 2.5 ounces and to grow a few plants, however, the veto takes away the retail market aspect, meaning that Maine misses out on taxes, revenues and legal places to procure cannabis.