Maine was given the “green” light to possess and grow weed within state borders. In November, residents of Maine passed Question 1 which legalized recreational marijuana by about 4,000 ballots. Due to the close margin, the new law was put in jeopardy because opponents of legalization in Maine called for a recount. However, they dropped the recount effort when it seemed fruitless. Additionally, the amount of time set between the vote and legalization has passed.
“In 2013, over 70% of voters in the city of Portland decided it was time to reject the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and embrace legalization. Tonight, a majority of voters statewide agreed with that assessment. With the approval of Question 1, Maine has elected to take a sensible approach to marijuana and reject the flawed ideas of the past. Thanks to them, Maine will no longer arrest otherwise law-abiding adults for choosing to consume a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol and tobacco and in the process generate tax revenue that will be used to improve education and other vital state services greatly.” – Erik Altieri, Executive Director of NORML.
Maine’s Recreational Marijuana Laws
Maine’s recreational marijuana laws are a work in progress. However, some rules have already gone into effect. As of Monday, it’s legal to gift, grow, and possess up to 2.5 ounces of weed.
“It’s huge. No longer will we be punishing adults for using a safer substance than alcohol,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot question. “We’re not making criminals out of thousands of Mainers who choose to use marijuana.”
It’s not all good, though. Less than a week ago, lawmakers unanimously approved legislation that would prevent the sale of retail marijuana in Maine until February 2018. So, if you don’t have anyone willing to gift you some weed you’re going to need to learn to grow it.
Additionally, cities and towns can still temporarily ban the establishment of any marijuana businesses.
Will Recreational Marijuana Change Medical Marijuana In Maine?
Maine has had access to medical marijuana since 1999. Maine approved Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act — allowing adults (21 and over) to grow up to 6 flowering cannabis plants and carry up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana. Will recreational marijuana impact the medical marijuana laws?
Well, supporters of recreational pot claim the new laws won’t interfere with the medical marijuana sector.
Last year Maine’s medical cannabis sales totaled $16.2M. Once commercial marijuana hits stores, the state can expect to a large economic impact like the one seen in CO.
With Maine’s recreational marijuana program in action, the west coast isn’t the only safe place to toke up. Massachusetts already started their recreational program, so there are now two locations to smoke weed on the east coast legally.
Legally purchasing pot in those states is another story. You can wait until the legal market is up and running to get some. Just remember, it is still illegal to consume cannabis in public. So, if you are visiting, be careful where you light up.