Maine voters end marijuana prohibition!
Last update: November 11, 2016
On November 8, 2016, 50.2% of Maine voters approved Question 1, which legalizes, taxes, and regulates marijuana for adults 21 and older.
The Marijuana Policy Project played a leading role in the campaign. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered, donated, talked to friends and family, and voted! We couldn’t have done it without you.
MPP will now shift its focus to implementation of the new law.
Medical marijuana in Maine
Maine voters passed the state’s medical marijuana law, Ballot Question 2, into law on November 2, 1999 with 61% of the vote. The law was improved by a ballot initiative in 2009 (Question 5) to allow dispensaries and add additional qualifying conditions. All eight dispensaries are currently up and running and no major problems have been reported.
In 2011, the Maine Legislature passed legislation making patient registration optional in order to preserve patient privacy and tweaking several other portions of the law. You can read a summary of those changes here.
Marijuana laws in Maine (non-medical)
Did you know that Maine is a “decrim” state? In 2009, the Maine Legislature passed a measure that expanded the state’s decades-old decrim law by making possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana a civil penalty, punishable by only a civil fine. For possession of up to 1.25 ounces, the fine is $350-$600. If the amount is between 1.25 ounces to 2.5 ounces, the fine is $700-$1000. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces can lead to a definite jail term of up to six months.
Of course, while removing the potential for jail time is a good first step, only taxing and regulating marijuana will solve the supply problem and completely remove marijuana from the criminal market. Please ask your legislators to support efforts to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Maine, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.