On Dec. 5, 2016, Maine began the recount of Question 1, a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Backed by opponents of the initiative, this marks the first time in Maine’s history that a statewide recount has been issued.
With 700,000 ballots from approximately 500 communities, The Portland Press Herald has reported that the recount could take more than a month to complete and end up costing the state $500,000. Most of the cost would come from paying over-time to the law enforcement officials tasked with collecting the ballots.
Anxious that the recount could potentially delay the implementation of Question 1, which is set to take effect on Jan. 7, 2017, supporters of the initiative have called the recount a waste of time and money.
“Every day the implementation of this law is delayed there are adults out there who are subject to punishment for responsible use of marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, field director for the Yes on 1 campaign. “And this delays responsible and effective implementation.”