Sens. Deschambault, Dion to serve on special marijuana committee

Posted: January 31, 2017 | Senator Deschambault, Senator Diamond

AUGUSTA — Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford, and Sen. Mark Dion, D-Portland, have been appointed by the Senate President to serve on the 17-member Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation.

The ad hoc committee is charged with developing a regulatory framework for the implementation of the voter-approved recreational marijuana law, most importantly the licensing, regulation and taxation of retail marijuana businesses. It will also serve as the committee of jurisdiction for the dozens of laws related to marijuana submitted for consideration this legislative year.

Sen. Dion is a longtime advocate of legalization and a former Cumberland County Sheriff. He has extensive experience on the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

“Voters want a modern, sensible approach to recreational use of marijuana by adults, and that’s priority No. 1. But the work of taking this industry out of the shadows and into the light will require tremendous and thoughtful work,” said Sen. Dion. “I look forward to joining my colleagues on the committee in rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.”

Sen. Deschambault is a former social worker in the Maine Department of Corrections who served on the Maine Criminal Justice Commission for 17 years. She currently serves on the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee.

“Maine joins just seven other states in legalizing recreational marijuana use, so while we’re not in completely uncharted territory there are still many questions that need to be answered,” said Sen. Deschambault. “As we’re working to find the right mix of taxation, criminal justice and licensing policies, I’ll be focused on ensuring that Maine communities retain the right to determine the marijuana policies that work best for them.”

“No one in the Maine Legislature has spent more time considering all the moving parts of this policy than Mark Dion,” said Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “And on a committee as important as this one, the people of Maine are well-served by Sue Deschambault’s integrity, work ethic and no-nonsense attitude. I’m confident that working with their colleagues, Sens. Dion and Deschambault will do great work.”

The full list of Committee Members, as appointed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House, are:

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, Chair

Sen. Kimberly Rosen, R-Bucksport

Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais.

Sen. Mark Dion, D-Portland

Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford

Rep. Teresa S. Pierce, D-Falmouth, Chair.

Rep. Kimberly Monaghan, D-Cape Elizabeth

Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland

Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop

Rep. Erik Jorgensen, D-Portland

Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York

Rep. Donald Marean, R-Hollis

Rep. Bruce Bickford, R-Auburn

Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington

Rep. Patrick Corey, R-Windham

Rep. Michael Perkins, R-Oakland

Rep. Kent Ackley, C-Monmouth