Maine is the eighth state (in addition to D.C.) in which adults 21 and older can legally possess limited amounts of marijuana; the voter-approved law also allows adults to grow a limited amount of marijuana in their homes
PORTLAND, Maine — A voter-approved initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine will officially take effect today, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.
“Maine voters made it clear that it’s time to end the failed and costly policy of punishing adults for their choice to responsibly use marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, an attorney with the Yes on 1 campaign. “This is a win for personal privacy, personal responsibility, and civil liberties. Now that the law has taken effect, our efforts must turn to the timely and effective implementation of the remaining parts of the law, to ensure that all Maine taxpayers benefit.”
Under Question 1, which voters approved in November and Gov. Paul LePage certified on December 31, adults 21 years of age and older can legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants, and possess the marijuana harvested from those plants inside their residence. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive while impaired by marijuana. The law will not affect employers’ drug-testing policies or their rights to prohibit marijuana use by employees.
The legislature is in the process of establishing a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales, which is currently scheduled to be up and running by February 1, 2018.
“Now that adults can legally possess and consume marijuana, they need places where they can legally purchase it,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “The next step is to take the criminal element out of production and sales. We are hopeful that the legislature will respect the will of the voters and work quickly to establish a sensible regulatory system.”
Marijuana is now legal for adults in eight states, including Maine, as well as in the District of Columbia. The measures approved by voters last November in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada took effect on November 9, December 15, and January 1, respectively. The laws in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. were adopted in November 2014, and the laws in Colorado and Washington were adopted in 2012.
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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPoli