The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine drew the coveted Question 1 spot on the statewide 2016 ballot during Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s random drawing on Monday.
The November ballot will be a crowded place for referendum efforts, with five citizen-initiated ballot questions and a bond question.
The marijuana legalization question will be followed on the ballot by efforts to:
- place a special tax on income over $200,000 to further fund K-12 education, at Question 2.
- expanding mandatory background checks to private gun sales or transfers, with some exceptions, at Question 3.
- raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, indexing it to inflation thereafter and also raising Maine’s tipped wage, at Question 4.
- establish a system of ranked-choice voting for state and congressional races, at Question 5.
- pass a $100 million transportation bond, at Question 6.
Picking the ballot question order is usually a perfunctory step that allows campaigns to finally start printing literature that educates people on their question, but that could have added importance in such a big year for referendums.
“I think it definitely helps,” said David Boyer, the campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the pro-legalization effort backed by the national Marijuana Policy Project. “Every campaign would probably agree and everyone wanted Question 1, so we’re happy that we got it.”