Boxes of petition signatures for a Maine marijuana legalization initiative are delivered to state officials on Feb. 1, 2016 as protesters wave signs in Augusta, Maine. (Tom Bell, The Associated Press)

Contention continues: Anti-marijuana group pushes to delay Maine’s new law

AUGUSTA, Maine — Campaigners who opposed a referendum to make marijuana legal in Maine are now calling for a moratorium on implementation of legalization.

Voters narrowly approved legalization of marijuana last month. The new law calls for a nine-month implementation period in which state regulators will make rules for marijuana retailers and social clubs.

The anti-legalization group Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities says that isn’t enough time. The group wants lawmakers to halt implementation until at least summer 2018.

The state is also waiting for Gov. Paul LePage to issue a proclamation of the results. The law goes into effect a month after LePage makes the proclamation. LePage, a Republican, has questioned whether the marijuana law can be legally implemented.

Pro-marijuana campaigners say the moratorium call is a stalling tactic.