This measure passed.

The gist

If passed, this referendum would legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Ballot question

“Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”1

Yes means No means
I am in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. I don't want to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Tell me more

Marijuana is now legal for medicinal use. This would expand it to recreational use for adults over 21, including:

  • The ability to possess up to 2.5 ounces of prepared marijuana
  • The ability to use up to 2.5 ounces in nonpublic places
  • The ability to grow a limited number of plants
  • The ability for retailers to sell marijuana and accessories

Follow the money

New Annual Revenue in 2017-18: $12.8 million [2]
New Annual Revenue in Future Years:”” $10.7 million

Note:** Costs don’t include savings from not having to police newly legal activities.

The money will be used to:

  • 98% of the revenue will fund the General Fund
  • 2% will go to the Local Government Fund, which is distributed to cities and towns

The money will be coming from:

  • A 10% tax on the sale of marijuana


The primary arguments for this referendum are:

  • New tax will in crease revenue.
  • Regulation makes the industry safer.


The primary arguments against this referendum are:

  • The bill could make it easier for those who are underage to obtain the drug. There are loopholes in the language that don’t expressly prohibit possession by those under 21. The bill would have to be revised by the legislature (which is a fairly common practice with ballot measures) to close this loophole.2
  • Regulating the industry could hurt the current mom and pop providers.
  • Regulation costs money.
  • Recreational marijuana use would still be illegal at the federal level.
  • Since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, there has been an increase in DUIs.3

Further reading

Full Text
Ballotpedia Article
Maine PBN Maine Calling Debate: Audio (52:54) | Video (49:28)


  1. Dunlop, M. Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election. Accessed October 7, 2016. 

  2. Mills, J. Maine AG: Regulating marijuana like alcohol is not what Question 1 does. Accessed October 24. 2016. 

  3. Colorado Department of Transportation. Drugged Driving Statistics. Accessed October 24, 2016.