Yes on One kicks off final push to legalize marijuana in Maine

    The Yes on One campaign speaks out Tuesday about its final push to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine. (WGME)

    PORTLAND (WGME) -- With exactly five weeks until election day, the campaigns for and against legalizing recreational marijuana are launching advertisements and making their final push for votes.

    Question 1 asks voters if they want to legalize possession of marijuana for people over 21 and allow the state to regulate and tax it. Back in 2013, a similar ordinance passed in Portland with 67 percent of the vote.

    The Yes on One campaign unveiled one of it's new television ads on Tuesday, featuring state representative and former sheriff, Mark Dion.

    "It is not the threat or the fear that many would have you believe," said Dion, of marijuana. "So question one is really an opportunity for all of us to exercise some common sense."

    About a dozen supporters spoke out at a press conference held in Portland.

    "We see that it's working out in Colorado," said David Boyer, Yes on One Campaign Manager. "The sky hasn't fallen, they have millions in revenue."

    Aside from the extra funds, they said it would allow law enforcement to focus on actual threats to society, and expand access to those who need it for health reasons, but don't have a qualifying condition.

    Opponents worry about the drug getting into the wrong hands.

    "We see this being a really huge issue in terms of access and the increased addiction amongst our young people," said Scott Gagnon from the No on One campaign.

    Gagnon said that's the focus of their new ad campaign, called "Not on my Maine Street."

    "We just want to get Mainers to think about, 'What does today's marijuana look like, and do we want that literally in our downtowns?'" said Gagnon.

    Yes on One plans to spend more than $1 million in advertising.

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