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Public Statements

Issue Position: Marijuana Decriminalization

Issue Position

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I support federal decriminalization and strict regulation of marijuana for personal recreational and medicinal uses, to stop the mindless, costly war on nonviolent marijuana users.

As a state legislator, I voted to affirm Maine's medical marijuana law and then to bolster privacy protections for medical marijuana users, because personal use of marijuana is nowhere near the top ten public safety threats in this country.

Prohibition of marijuana in the United States is filling our prisons and creating a black market that fuels cartels and crime in our rural areas and forests, and in other parts of the world.

I make decisions based on science and facts, and the evidence shows marijuana is not as addictive as cigarettes or alcohol, has medicinal benefits and is not a "gateway drug." If properly controlled and regulated, it offers significant revenue potential for cash-strapped states, as has been seen through the nonprofit medical marijuana movement. Even without full legalization, merely de-emphasizing the enforcement of existing marijana laws would be a start.

A 2010 Harvard University study estimates we spend a staggering $13.7 billion per year enforcing prohibition. With one of the highest rates of incarceration for adult males in the world, prosecuting nonviolent marijuana users is a prohibition we can't, and don't have to, afford.


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