A typical summer Maine afternoon. The sun is out and so are you, walking down Main Street with your kids. Maybe you’re taking them to the park or town library. It’s a walk you’ve done a hundred times before.
But today something is different. You walk past a new, unfamiliar store. Your kids stop. “Mommy, Daddy, look at these! Can we get some?”
They point to displays of gummy bears, lollipops, and sodas in the window – seemingly harmless enough. But these aren’t normal candies and sweets. Instead these are potent marijuana candies, and this is your town’s new pot shop. And now you spend the rest of the way to the park trying to explain to a confused five-year-old that some candies are no longer safe to eat, even though they look just like the treats they love.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not make-believe. On countless streets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon—where marijuana has already been legalized—this very scene plays out daily. And if Big Marijuana gets its way here in November, Maine will be added to that list.
The modern marijuana industry isn’t about Woodstock weed. It’s about pushing the strongest, most kid-friendly products possible out to market. Marijuana edibles and potent pot concentrates can be over 90 percent pure—the marijuana equivalent of selling pure grain alcohol. Financed by big, faceless international lobbying organizations and out-of- state corporate interests, it’s Big Tobacco with an intoxicating twist.
This November Mainers should vote No on Question 1, which would legalize pot gummy bears, lollipops, sodas, and other dangerous products throughout Maine and bring pot storefronts and “marijuana bars” to our local streets.
If passed, Question 1 would fundamentally change our communities while increasing risks to our youth. A growing number of Maine parents and community members have joined together to form the coalition Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities (MPYC). We are launching the campaign to oppose Question 1 and to defeat the Big Marijuana agenda. MPYC may not have the out-of-state big bucks or slick ads like our corporate opponents, but we have the pride, passion and energy of Mainers; we know what is best for our state, and don’t like being told what’s best by out-of-state special interests and profiteers.
Bad for Maine Education - In October 2015, The Denver Post reported that school officials view marijuana as the number one issue facing public schools. After marijuana legalization passed in Colorado, drug-related suspensions and expulsions rose 40 percent, mostly driven by marijuana. If marijuana were to be legalized in Maine, the pot industry would flood the state with marijuana edibles, just like Colorado. Imagine the job for schoolteachers, who would have no way of keeping pot candies out of their classrooms. No need to cite the many studies that confirm the obvious—more pot at school means kids do worse academically.
Bad for Maine Business - Question 1 would prevent Maine businesses from adopting and enforcing common sense restrictions on screening new employees for marijuana use. This would increase the chance that one of your employees is impaired on the job, putting their co-workers at risk, while you shoulder the cost of additional liability.
Bad for Maine Local Control - What if your town wants to regulate marijuana more strictly? Under Question 1, it would have next to no control over keeping pot farms, processing operations, and via a loophole, even pot shops out of their communities.
Question 1 is about one thing only: turning our towns into the next market for Big Marijuana—the next tobacco industry. But Mainers have the power to stop it. You can join MPYC’s campaign to oppose Big Marijuana by going tohttp://NotOnMyMaineStreet.com. And in November, Maine voters should vote “No” on Question 1 to protect our communities and youth.