The packaging for marijuana edibles sold in Maine dispensaries warns users to go “low and slow,” lest they find out too late that they have consumed too much of the psychoactive cookies or candies.

That’s good advice for lawmakers who will decide soon how to implement the system governing legal recreational marijuana in Maine. Legal pot is still in its infancy — and the drug is still illegal under federal law — so the Legislature would do well to keep the new policy conservative to begin with, as Maine figures out just where the flash points will be as the new law goes into effect.

Less than a year ago, pro-marijuana Mainers would have been happy just to see the drug legalized. Now, some want to open up drive-thru windows and allow home delivery.

Those are among the ideas in the first draft of an implementation bill designed by Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. The proposal is the subject of a public hearing Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the State House, after which the comments will be considered before a final version is submitted to the Legislature, which will tackle the legislation during a special session in October.

Marijuana advocates say the bill should treat pot just like alcohol, just as was argued in the campaign last year — hence the proposed drive-thrus, deliveries and pot social clubs.

But to us, that argument always meant that marijuana should be available to consenting adults, not that it should be sold at every convenience store and grocery market. And when was the last time you saw a drive-thru liquor store?

Fact is, we just don’t know how legal marijuana will effect Maine. It still is only legal in eight states, some of which have yet to start sales, and that status is very new.

Each state works from a basic legal framework, but within that framework rules and laws vary widely. With all those moving parts, and without much experience, it’s impossible to know exactly what Maine is in for. As Colorado’s first chief pot regulator said, “This policy arena remains very divisive and full of uncertainty.”

Given all the other uncertainty, though, Maine should start by addressing the basics and establishing a simple framework that honors the law.

The committee has set a tax rate for marijuana at 20 percent, higher than the 10 percent suggested in the law passed last year. That strikes us as the right balance between being high enough to raise revenue for enforcement, prevention and other matters, and low enough to dissuade people from going to the black market. It matches the rate in Massachusetts, which is also setting up its retail system.

On most other things, the state should go “slow and cautious,” as Augusta Sen. Roger Katz, chairman of the implementation committee, has advised.

It should allow adults to purchase marijuana that is predictable in its quality and potency, and it should take pains to keep that marijuana out of the hands of minors and away from the black market.

As Maine gains experience, the law can always be updated and expanded to include new opportunities. But it would be a mistake to move too quickly or forcefully, only to find out too late Maine went too far.

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