Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, chokes up while speaking against overriding Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of an an adult-use marijuana regulatory bill on Wednesday in Augusta.

A new push to ask Maine voters again whether they favor legal adult-use marijuana fizzled Tuesday when a majority of the Maine Senate voted against it.

Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, is an outspoken marijuana opponent whose bill called for another referendum about the legality of recreational marijuana. The bill would have put another referendum to voters this November.

Cyrway argued that marijuana abuse puts children, communities and families at risk, but failed to garner enough support.

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, was one of three Republican senators who spoke against Cyrway’s bill. Katz, who chaired a special legislative committee that came up with rules for sales and regulation of adult-use marijuana, said that adults already use marijuana in Maine, so having an oversight and safety system in place is preferable to allowing black market sales to continue.

Cyrway’s bill was rejected 18-13 and is now dead. Minutes after that vote, the Senate endorsed an overhaul of Maine’s medical marijuana laws, which had been held up until the recreational marijuana vote, 28-3.

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Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.