The national Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has officially filed a statewide ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol with the Maine Secretary of State.

The Maine Secretary of State now has fifteen days to review the initiative application and either reject it, accept it, or provide revisions to the proposed measure.  If it is approved, then Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will have until the end of January 2016 to collect the approximately 62,000 signatures of registered Maine voters that are needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

A press release today from the Campaign said that five Maine registered voters have signed the application, they are: State Rep. Diane Russell of Portland; local farmer and former Republican State Representative, Aaron Libby of Waterboro; Androscoggin County Commissioner and Lewiston School Board Member Matt Roy; Rev. Deane Perkins of Belfast; and Sherry DaBiere, a York-based real estate agent and grandmother.

Matt Roy, the Lewiston School Board member said in the press release, "Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and this initiative simply proposes that we treat it that way. If this initiative passes, adults would be able to purchase marijuana in taxpaying businesses instead of in the underground market. It would generate significant new revenue for our public schools.”

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is one of two groups looking to legalize recreational marijuana use in Maine, the other being a local group called Legalize Maine, led by its president, Paul McCarrier.