On this day in 2018, the Maine legislature overrode Paul LePage’s veto of marijuana legalization in the state. LePage opposed and fought against the measure even after Maine voters supported it at the ballot box in a 2016 referendum. Since LePage left office, Governor Janet Mills has fully implemented legalization, including recreational sales, which has supported nearly 1000 jobs and contributed significantly to tourism revenues in the state.
Governor Mills also recently signed into law legislation providing municipalities with revenue generated through cannabis sales to help pay for municipal services.
“Paul LePage’s opposition to voter-approved marijuana legalization was just one more time where he blocked a measure supported by Maine voters because he thought he knew better than them—something a dictator would do,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “Unlike LePage, Governor Mills respects the will of Maine voters, and, upon taking office, swiftly implemented the many voter-approved programs that LePage had blocked. We can’t go back to a governor who won’t listen to what Maine people actually want.”
LePage rejected the will of Maine voters on several occasions besides marijuana legalization, including refusing to release millions in senior housing bonds or expand Medicaid, both of which were approved by the people of Maine at the ballot box. Governor Mills has since implemented all three measures.