When it comes to embarrassing political headlines, Maine is usually miles ahead of Massachusetts. That’s thanks in large part to Governor Paul LePage who’s known for, um, his bombastic style.
But on at least one issue, Maine political observers and lobbyists say, the Pine Tree state has bragging rights over the Bay State.
Massachusetts legislators have been blasted for rewriting the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law in secret. But a similar committee in Maine charged with amending that state’s pot initiative is drawing praise for its transparency — even from activists who have battled legislative leaders over the law.
“Seeing what’s going on down there [in Massachusetts], it gives me perspective,” said David Boyer, the Maine political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, which sponsored that state’s successful 2016 recreational marijuana ballot question. “Up here, we can listen from home online. It’s pretty amazing and egregious that in Massachusetts, no one can hear the discussions that are going on about a law that was drafted and voted on by citizens.”