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Maine: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - Archive

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Julie Gardener

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Maine Medical Marijuana Overview​

SUMMARY: Sixty-one percent of voters approved Question 2 on November 2, 1999. The law took effect on December 22, 1999. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess an oral or written "professional opinion" from their physician that he or she "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea or vomiting as a result of AIDS or cancer chemotherapy. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one and one-quarter ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. Those patients who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law are afforded a "simple defense" to a charge of marijuana possession. The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.

RECIPROCITY: Yes. Authorizes visiting qualifying patient with valid registry identification card (or its equivalent), to engage in conduct authorized for the registered patient (the medical use of marijuana) for 30 days after entering the State, without having to obtain a Maine registry identification card. Visiting qualifying patients are not authorized to obtain in Maine marijuana for medical use. Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §2423-D (2010).

AMENDMENTS: Yes. Senate Bill 611, which was signed into law on April 2, 2002, increases the amount of useable marijuana a person may possess from one and one-quarter ounces to two and one-half ounces. Question 5, approved by 59 percent of voters on November 3, 2009, mandates the Department of Health to enact rules within 120 days establishing a confidential patient registry and identification card system, and allowing for the dispensing of medicinal cannabis via state-licensed nonprofit dispensaries. The act also expands the list of qualifying illnesses for which a physician may recommend medical cannabis to include: "A. cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, nail-patella syndrome or the treatment of these conditions; B. a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medical or surgical measures for more than 6 months; C. a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or D. any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department as provided." Read the full text.

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS: Yes.

LD. 1811, signed into law on April 9, 2010, authorizes the creation of up to eight nonprofit medical cannabis dispensaries – one for each of the state's public health districts. Under the measure, dispensaries may legally "acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials" to state-authorized medical marijuana patients. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will oversee the licensing of these facilities.

The law also requires, for the first time, that authorized patients join a confidentially state registry. Cardholding patients will not be subject to “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by any business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, or denied any right or privilege,” for their possession, use, or cultivation of authorized amounts of medical cannabis (2 and one-half ounces and/or six plants).

Full text of the law is available here.

LD 1296 signed by Gov. Lepage on June 24, 2011 at 8:20a.m. The law will take effect in 90 days. Voluntary registration is BACK! You must still have a tamper proof physicians note. Please read LD 1296 an act to ammend the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. mainelegislature.org

Will be updating more on this latest amendment soon.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22, § 2383-B(5), (6) (1999) (amended 2001).

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22, § 2383-B(3)(e) (amended 2001) (increasing amount of marijuana a patient may posses to two and one-half ounces).

STATE REGULATIONS: Statement of Maine's Medicinal Marijuana Law [PDF]

POSSESSION/CULTIVATION: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one and one-quarter (1.25) ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. Those patients who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law are afforded a "simple defense" to a charge of marijuana possession.

• 2.5 oz usable; 6 plants

CAREGIVERS: Yes. Primary caregiver is a person providing care for the registered patient. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. The caregiver can never have been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense. Patients can name one or two primary caregivers. (only one person may be allowed to cultivate marijuana for a registered patient) Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§2422; 2425 (2010).

PATIENT REGISTRATION FEE: $100 / $75 with Medicaid Card
Caregivers pay $300/patient (limit of 5 patients; if not growing marijuana, there is no fee)

• Registration: Voluntary 90 days from June 24, 2011

For further information and Becoming a Patient in Maine

Maine Citizens for Patients Rights
PO Box 1074
Lewiston, ME 04243

Source: NORML
 
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Julie Gardener

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Maine Marijuana Penalties​

Possession

♦ Usable amount with proof of physician's recommendation - none Incarceration none Fine none

♦ "Usable Amount" (under <2.5 oz) - civil violation Incarceration none Fine $350 - $600 subsequent violation within 6 months $550

♦ 2.5 oz or more Presumption of Sale, Rebuttable


Cultivation

♦ 5 plants or less class E - misdemeanor Incarceration 6 months Fine $1,000

♦ 5 - 100 plants class D - misdemeanor Incarceration 1 year Fine $2,000

♦ 100 - 500 plants class C - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $5,000

♦ More than 500 plants class B - felony Incarceration 10 years Fine $20,00


Sale

♦ 1 lb or less class D - misdemeanor Incarceration 1 year Fine $2,000

♦ 1 lb - 20 lbs class C - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $5,000

♦ 20 lbs or more class B - felony Incarceration 10 years Fine $20,000

♦ Sale to minor or within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $5,00


Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

♦ Paraphernalia possession and use - civil violation Incarceration none Fine $300

♦ Paraphernalia sale - misdemeanor Incarceration 6 months Fine $1,000

♦ Paraphernalia sale to a - minor misdemeanor Incarceration 1 year Fine $2,000

♦ Any conviction may cause professional license suspension or revocation


Details

Possession of less than 2.5 ounces is a civil violation, punishable by a fine of $200 - $400. Possession of 2.5 ounces or more is considered evidence of intent to distribute and is punished as such (see below).

Possession of a usable amount of marijuana is lawful if at the time of the possession the person has an authenticated copy of a medical record demonstrating that the person has a physician's recommendation.

Cultivation of five plants or less of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For greater than five plants, the penalties increase to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. For greater than 100 plants the possible punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. For any amount of plants greater than 500, the penalties increase to up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

The penalty for sale of marijuana is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000. The penalties increase to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if the sale was made to a minor or if it occurred within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus.

Possession of greater than one pound of marijuana is considered trafficking and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Possession and personal use of paraphernalia is a civil violation punishable by a fine of $200. The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the penalty increases to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Upon conviction, the court may suspend or revoke the professional license of the offender.

Decriminalization: The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Medical marijuana: This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.

Hemp: This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),
the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other product.

Warning: The information contained in this and the above report is for informational purposes only. Individuals are encouraged to confirm their state's laws before engaging in any particular behavior, or before going to court without a lawyer. Marijuana laws and penalties change rapidly and are enforced and interpreted differently even in the same legal jurisdiction. Please consult a criminal defense lawyer if you have been busted or if you want to know how a particular conduct might be punished. If you spot an error or have information that should be included please let us know.

Source: NORML

Be informed, be well and let's change these state fines and penalties as they are unfair to everyone.

:Namaste:
 
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jimburke

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news flash as of june 24 gov Lepage signed bill ld1296 giving mmj rights back to the people and making state registration voluntary. see new bill at maine.gov no more big fees to the government.and the law basicly goes back to original text.current law still in effect for 90 days. more to come. jim burke:yahoo::yahoo:
 

Buckshot

Member of the Month: Nov 2013 - Nug of the Month: Mar 2013, Dec 2014 - Plant of the Month: Mar 2018
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