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Maine Effort to Legalize Pot Would Nix Ads Aimed at Minors

Magazines that promote marijuana will have to be kept behind the counter under the latest proposal to legalize marijuana in Maine. (United States Fish and Wildlife Service).
Magazines that promote marijuana will have to be kept behind the counter under the latest proposal to legalize marijuana in Maine. (United States Fish and Wildlife Service).
May 26, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine – It has been a long road paved with court battles and compromise, but Maine voters will get a chance to decide whether the state should legalize pot on the November ballot.

David Boyer, who manages the Maine chapter of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, says the ballot initiative survived court challenges, but had to make some concessions in regard to protecting minors. That is fine with Boyer.

"We're not going to be advertising marijuana products to children, just like we shouldn't advertise marijuana products to children,” he states. “We can learn from the tobacco industry, and the alcohol industry. And I don't think we should repeat Joe Camel."

Joe Camel was the advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes from 1987 to 1997.

The ballot initiative that goes to Maine voters in November would put some restrictions on magazines, whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses.

The proposal says marijuana products may be sold only in a retail marijuana store or behind the counter in an establishment where people under 21 years of age are present.

Boyer says this was an easy compromise to accept because it happens to be one of the primary goals of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

"Part of the reason that we want the regulation and legalization of marijuana is to take it out of the hands of drug dealers that don’t check IDs and don’t card and put it behind the counter," he explains.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, the U.S. attorney general refused to defend similar language in Colorado regarding pot-related magazines because he said it was "blatantly unconstitutional."

Boyer says once the measure passes, towns and cities across the state could take action to remove the restriction in their areas.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME