Maine Medical Marijuana

Feb 19, 2010 – Last November, the citizens of Maine voted to approve the Maine Medical Marijuana Act.

After its passage, the governor created a task force to recommend changes to the law to make it most beneficial to Mainers.

In this special report on medical marijuana, we follow the recommendations submitted by the task force and the challenges they faced tweaking this abstract concept.

The Medical Marijuana Task Force is 14 appointed officials made up of legislators, patient advocates and the attorney general have been charged with outlining the medical marijuana law after the referendum was passed by Maine voters.

The Task Force met a total of five times and had three main objectives.

One was to look at marijuana laws in other states. 14 states have legalized medical marijuana. Maine is the fifth state to allow dispensaries, including New Mexico, which members of the force say they used as a template for Maine’s law. New Mexico currently has about seven dispensaries in the state, though the task force decided not to predetermine a number for Maine.

The task force’s second objective was to recommend changes to the law, mainly to ensure public health and safety and the constant monitoring of the medical marijuana program.

Lastly, the task force was charged to advise the department of health and human services in its development of proposed rules and fee schedules.

Where the law stands now, patients are allotted two and a half ounces of usable marijuana, and can grow six self serving plants.

Though the smoke hasn’t cleared to see if medical marijuana will change the way life should be in Maine, on paper the regulations are outlined so legal medical marijuana dispensaries could be open in Maine as early as June.

With marijuana despenseries possibly opening in Maine as early as June, the law to govern these shops is in its final stages, thanks to the marijuana task force, the group charged with outlining the law.

While the medical marijuana law could be a doorway to legalized marijuana, many of those who will be using and distributing marijuana say there are so many regulations involved, the law will be bad for business.

Don LaRouche was turned down by several doctors before he was prescribed medical marijuana for his glaucoma. He says,

“Right now, it’s tough because doctors don’t want to. They’re afraid. I don’t see it getting any better unless they’re forced to do this.”

LaRouche says even with the new medical marijuana law, it will be difficult for patients like him to receive a prescription.

Many hospitals, like Acadia Hospital in Bangor won’t prescribe smokeable marijuana. Allen Schaffer the Chief Medical Officer there says,

“In some states, there’s been much larger scale use then people expected. In others, it hasn’t been widely distributed. If they prescribe it, then I expect we’ll see more people who have a problem of over use.”

Those who don’t see marijuana as a threat would like medical marijuana to become a sustainable business. While members of the task force say the law is written to prevent illegal activities, members of the medical marijuana community say the law is too constricting and will hinder the process. All interested parties will have the chance to speak on the topic when the bill reaches the Maine Legislature.

by Angela DiMillo. Source.

One response to “Maine Medical Marijuana”

  1. Until the legalize it at the Federal Level, At least pass some Medical Use Legislation, Doctors will still receive threats of sanctions on their licenses or will feel their livelihoods are in jeopardy if they Recommend or Prescribe Cannabis.
    Just look at how threatened they feel at Legalizing Non-Psychoactive Hemp for Industrial purposes, A new Industry that could cost existing industries massive amounts of money in re-tooling and lost business and revenue due to all the products that can be made from Hemp.
    It does not take a Rocket Scientist to discern Industrial Hemp from The Medical Variety,
    If our own Government believes the Police are too Stupid to be able to learn the Difference, How can the People have faith in the Public Safety Department that was created to Deter Crime and Protect them from REAL Criminals?
    They need to go back to Enforcing Laws where someones rights were violated by another and “Common Sense” Safety Laws!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *