AUGUSTA — Advocates for drug law reform will hold a news conference Thursday at the State House to announce their support for a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar alcoholic beverages.

The ACLU of Maine will join members of the Legislature, the Marijuana Policy Project and other advocates of “sensible drug law reform” at noon at the State House Welcome Center, according to the ACLU.

“Arrests for small amounts of marijuana funnel people into the criminal justice system unnecessarily, fill our jails and prisons with nonviolent people and tear Maine families apart for no good reason,” said Shenna Belllows, ACLU executive director. “There are far more important things to focus our limited resources on than locking up people who pose no threat to society.”

Others supporters expected to be there include Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland; Rep. Aaron Libby, R-North Waterboro; David Boyer, political director of Marijuana Policy Project; and Denny Galludet, retired bank president and superintendent.