Portland lawmaker launches campaign to legalize, regulate pot

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AUGUSTA — State Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, is launching a campaign Thursday to promote legislation that would regulate and tax marijuana use in Maine.

In a statement issued early Tuesday, Russell announced a Statehouse news conference with the bill co-sponsors and other advocates for the measure, which aims to regulate marijuana the same way alcohol is controlled.

Expected to join Russell for the noon news conference are Rep. Aaron Libby, R-North Waterboro; Shenna Bellows, of the ACLU of Maine; David Boyer, with Marijuana Policy Project; and Denny Gallaudet, a retired bank president and school superintendent.

“When it comes to keeping marijuana away from teens, keeping marijuana in an unregulated underground market is the worst possible policy,” Russell said in a statement. “Instead, marijuana should be sold by legitimate, taxpaying businesses in a tightly regulated market.”

— Sun Media Wire