Maine legislators are set to introduce a bill that would permit the tax and regulation cannabis products in the same manner as alcohol. During last year's election, Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana via voter referendum.

In a press release last Thursday, State Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) formally introduced LR-21, “An Act to Regulate and Tax Marijuana.” Russell was joined by the ACLU of Maine and the Marijuana Policy Project. She stressed the failure of the war on drugs in preventing marijuana from falling into the hands of minors. 

“Eight-five percent of high school seniors are telling us they have easy access to marijuana. Prohibition did not work with alcohol, and it has not worked for marijuana, either,” said Russell.
Russell also spoke to the success of Maine’s medicinal marijuana program. 

“We have proven here in Maine that it can be done for medicinal purposes,” she said, “and it is now time to implement that same strict regulatory infrastructure for responsible adult recreational consumers.” 

Similar talking points are common among legal marijuana advocates throughout the country.
Shortly after the press conference, Russell posted on the marijuana subsection for the popular website “,” seeking to raise awareness for the bill. She presented an informal version of her marijuana platform. 

“This is a team effort and it’s time we deal with this issue head on, in a rational manner with this thing they call ‘facts,’” she wrote. 

The ACLU of Maine issued a press release on February 21, expressing its support for marijuana legalization due to the number of arrests current marijuana laws account for. 

Rachel Healy, communications director at the ACLU of Maine spoke at last Thursday’s press conference. 

 “Maine has the opportunity to join a growing movement across the nation that recognizes locking up tens of thousands of Americans for small amounts of marijuana just doesn’t make sense,” she said.