The Democratic candidates for governor took part in a WGIR radio debate Wednesday. Among other things, the candidates discussed marijuana legalization.
Democratic candidate Steve Marchand argued that legalizing and taxing marijuana would help reduce opiate addictions, reduce the costs of incarceration, and raise state revenue.
Marchand criticized his two opponents, Mark Connolly and Colin Van Ostern, for supporting tobacco over marijuana.
“We legalize cigarettes; we make money off cigarettes," Marchand said. "My two opponents want to raise the tobacco tax to pay for stuff, and by the way, if it works it means they need people to keep smoking. We know that kills people. Nobody has died because of a marijuana overdose; nobody is dying because of marijuana.”
Connolly and Van Ostern support the decriminalization of marijuana, but say legalizing it without a better understanding of how it would impact the state could be a dangerous step.
Some of the other topics discussed were gun violence, energy investment, and the death penalty.
The state primaries are set for September 13th.