12.07.2016
policy

Maine Weed Haters Can’t Find Enough Pals to Recount 'Yes' Votes

No means saying yes to stalling tactics and obstructionism.

Early in November, Maine voters elected to enact Question 1, a recreational-marijuana referendum that would allow state residents to possess up to 2.5 ounces of weed and/or grow 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature marijuana plants and unlimited seedlings. Question 1 also provided for establishment of marijuana retail outlets and social clubs. Obviously, a lot of deep thought went into drafting the measure, thinking that a majority of Maine’s voters agreed with.

Question 1 passed by 4,073 votes—381,692 to 377,619, which might have been the end of legal marijuana’s contested status in the state of Maine, except that a group called No on 1 (guess what it stands for) demanding a recount. Considering that legal weed’s margin of victory was so slim, that recount was granted (at no cost to No on 1 organizers). The re-tally commenced Monday, December 5.

Any way you picture it, hand counting more than 700,000 ballots is a slow process under the best conditions, and those best conditions do not include the No on 1 partisans.

According to reports out of Maine, the anti-weed organizers failed to wrangle an adequate team of volunteer vote checkers to aid in the process.

From Portland, Maine’s Press Herald:

Marijuana legalization opponents who requested a statewide recount of the Nov. 8 referendum results failed to provide a full roster of ballot counters for the first two-and-a-half days of the process.

Yes on 1 campaign manager David Boyer basically threw the No on 1 crew across the tracks for its volunteer shortage, telling the Press Herald: ““That is, quite frankly, silly. The whole point is to ensure the integrity of the vote and they can’t be bothered to do that. What are we doing here?”

No on 1’s Newell Augur, an attorney, wasn’t about to sit back and let Boyer’s salvo go unanswered, firing back:

“Certainly a lot of people from out of state invested millions of dollars trying to push this provision through. They obviously want to capitalize on their investment as soon as they can. This is our state, this is our election and we’re going to make sure the count is accurate.”

Whether the count is reversed or not, an appreciable delay will be created, and those out-of-state weed profiteers that have angered Augur will wait an additional number of months before they begin basically printing green by selling greens.

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