The gist

This resolution would give citizens the explicit right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume their own food.

Ballot question

“Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being?”1

Yes means No means
I am in favor of amending the state constitution so that all individuals have the right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choosing. I don't want to amend the state constitution.

Tell me more

This measure would allow individuals to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume food as long as they are not trespassing on somebody else’s property or stealing. It would also ensure individuals have the right to save and exchange seeds.

This question is a constitutional resolution, which, if passed, would make a change to the state constitution.

Follow the money

There’s no money directly involved with this referendum.

Pros

The primary arguments for this referendum are:

  • It would give individuals an explicit right to feed themselves.2
  • It wouldn’t allow individuals to trespass on or steal other people’s property.2
  • It would allow individuals to save and exchange seeds.2

Cons

The primary arguments against this referendum are:

  • Maine already has $110.53 million in outstanding bond debt that this will add to and it could lead to increased taxes.2
  • It could infringe on seed patents.2
  • Some believe the language is too vague.2
  • It could allow people to sidestep existing regulations related to things like animal welfare, pollution, local ordinances, or public safety.2

Who cares

Support3

  • State Sen. Craig Hickman (D)
  • State Sen. David Miramant (D)
  • State Rep. Jonathan Connor (R)
  • State Rep. Michelle Dunphy (D)
  • State Rep. William Faulkingham (R)
  • State Rep. Justin Fecteau (R)
  • State Rep. H. Scott Landry Jr. (D)
  • State Rep. Laurel Libby (R)
  • State Rep. William Pluecker (Independent for Maine Party)
  • State Rep. Jennifer Poirier (R)
  • State Rep. Heidi Sampson (R)

Opposition3

  • Animal Rights Maine
  • Maine Animal Coalition
  • Maine Farm Bureau
  • Maine Friends of Animals
  • Maine Municipal Association
  • Maine Potato Board
  • Maine Veterinary Medical Association

Further reading

References

  1. Maine State Legislature. RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to Food. Accessed October 2, 2021. 

  2. Bellows, Shenna. Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election. Accessed October 2, 2021.  2 3 4 5 6 7

  3. Ballotpedia State Desk. Maine Question 3, Right to Produce, Harvest, and Consume Food Amendment (2021). Ballotpedia. Accessed October 2, 2021.  2