The Maine marijuana legalization initiative will be Question 1 on the statewide ballot Nov. 8.

I am voting “yes” on 1, to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21-plus because I do not want my mother to think of me as a criminal. She is old and traditional.

For years society has looked down on marijuana, but this year we have the chance to change all of that. I want people to know that marijuana is safer than alcohol. I want people to know that their friends, neighbors and family do not deserve to be stigmatized for choosing marijuana.

I worry that I do not have many years left with my mother, and I do not want to be afraid of disappointing her. I worry that if things stay the same, I will have to keep hiding. Please join me in voting “yes” on 1 in November.

Nikolai Kabakchiev