Yes on 1

To the Editor:

As a Libertarian-leaning Republican, I believe an individual’s right to make (even wrong) personal choices should not be criminalized, except where the greater good of our community otherwise would be hurt.

Having read the text of the Question 1 ballot measure, by Lynne Williams of Legalize Maine, while the petition was being circulated, I know that many of the objections cited by those opposing it are based on misconceptions.

When the Regulate Marijuana group joined with “Legalize,” Lynne’s carefully crafted measure was adopted, so big marijuana will not benefit, but rather small farmers and local growers. The only big marijuana organizations here are the drug cartels who will lose business once Maine consumers are able to buy local.

Measure 1 spells out no sales to minors with penalties set by our legislature for those who do.

Anecdotally, I found as a teen that merchants lawfully selling a substance regulated like alcohol wouldn’t risk their license selling to me. However, black-market drug dealers already selling to the adult market never asked for ID and frequently offered harder drugs, which they’d claim were no worse than marijuana or alcohol and tobacco.

Regulation means governments can collect taxes on growers and adult users that can pay for education and police services. Police are then freed to solve more serious crimes rather than filling out paperwork every time they find a bag of weed on someone’s coffee table.

Vote “yes” on 1 to protect our children, end the marijuana black market, support local growers and give our towns much needed revenue.

Jay Riley

Bar Harbor

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