AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Now that the recount of Question 1 has been dropped, the recreational use of marijuana is expected to become legal here in Maine, and the governor says that may mean the end for medical marijuana.
"I also am very very concerned about the cost it's going to be, I need about $5-million dollars from the Legislature for infrastructure within the Department of Agriculture," said LePage. "Secondly, I think we have to get rid of medical marijuana. If you've got recreational marijuana, it's over the counter, why do you need medical marijuana?"
The Governor was responding to a question on WGAN's morning show on Thursday.
It's a statement some in the medical marijuana community say has been their fear throughout the campaign.
"People are depending upon real medicine that's being legally produced that they can affordably access in order to survive, or in order to have any quality-of-life," said Hillary Lister, an advocate for medical marijuana.
There is a vast difference between recreationally produced pot and what caregivers create for children like Kaylee Brown, whose life is shaped by epilepsy. Her mother, Samantha says her daughter can be more of herself with her medical marijuana.
"With our special children it's not like they can smoke a joint or have any type of oil they need a specialized strain a specialized formula," said Brown. "We're getting these formulas through our compassionate caregivers, and they are at risk."
Brown and Lister both say they hope to be involved as the Legislature crafts rules and regulations over the coming months.
"Medical should come before recreational always," said Brown. "We hope the Legislature listens to that."
In that radio interview, the governor also said he would push to have recreational marijuana regulated through the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations, because it already has regulations in place - instead of the proposed Department of Agriculture.
When asked whether the Governor will sign the referendum, now that the recount request has been dropped, his press secretary replied, "We'll see. He has 10 days to decide."