AUGUSTA, Maine. (Nov. 10, 2016) – Voters in Maine approved a ballot measure Tuesday, legalizing marijuana for general use by adults. This takes a big step toward nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition of cannabis in effect.
Maine voters approved Question 1 by 2,620 vote margin. The race was close and officials didn’t declare a winner until Thursday afternoon. Opponents of the measure may demand a recount.
With passage of Question 1, Maine will regulate and tax marijuana as an agricultural product.The measure allows individuals over the age of 21 to possess and use marijuana, and also provides for the licensure of retail facilities and marijuana social clubs.
The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970 prohibits all of this. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate marijuana within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.
Legalization of marijuana in Maine removes a huge layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana, but federal prohibition will remain on the books.
FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By mostly ending state prohibition, Maine essentially sweeps away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.
Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.
A GROWING MOVEMENT
Maine was one of eight states with measures on the ballot to to legalize marijuana for either for medical or general adult use Tuesday. This is the largest number of states that have considered nullifying marijuana prohibition in a single election cycle. Seven of the eight passed.
Miane joins a growing number that are simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice. Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska have all legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, and more than two-dozen states now allow cannabis for medical use.
With more than half the country legalizing marijuana, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition any more.
The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.