Marijuana Becomes Legal In Maine On Monday
Maine lawmakers have approved amendments of the first portion of the marijuana legalization on Thursday. Maine voters backed up the legalization in November and are looking forward for the amendment to take effect on Monday. This will allow adults 21 and above to possess and grow a limited amount of medical marijuana.
The changes approved and certified by Gov. Paul LePage on Dec. 31 will allow consumption of the drug on private property for home medication. This will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients who do not have access to the drug. Further, retail shops are allowed to open this fall but the lawmakers agreed to a three-month delay moving the retail sales to early 2018.
Majority of the voters agreed to legalization, 381,768 in total. Those who opposed were 377,773 and requested a recount but did not continue as it was clear the 3,995 votes point margin did not vary significantly. Most of the voters were mothers that had children with epilepsy and adults experiencing chronic pain or multiple sclerosis.
According to The Daily Chronic, adults 21 and older are allowed to legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, they can grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants at home either for recreational or medicinal purposes. Marijuana will still remain illegal in public use and driving. The law will not affect drug-testing policies and employers can still prohibit marijuana use in the workplace.
Come Monday, Maine will be the eighth state that voted to legalize marijuana. Massachusetts, California and Nevada voted in Nov. 9, Dec. 15 and Jan. 1, respectively.
Additionally, while Arizona rejected legalization, it has been approved in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Augusta Patch reported that marijuana is still prohibited under federal law. The Obama administration waited to see if the states would continue to legalize the drug for home medication. However, Jeff Sessions, newly appointed attorney general and Donald Trump's pick shared that they won't commit to legalization. Trump himself said that it should be a state issue.