Portland, ME: Adults in Maine will be able to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis without penalty beginning January 30, 2017.
“Sometimes our opponents have to be drug there kicking and screaming, but it is good to see the ‘No on 1’ campaign and Governor LePage honor the will of state voters and allow legalization’s election night victory to finally be formally certified,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “We will be fighting to ensure the initiative is implemented as voters intended and will be vigilant and prepared to fight back against any further efforts to rollback this landmark reform.”
Governor Paul LePage on Saturday certified the results of Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. The voter-initiated measure narrowly passed on Election Day and was subject to a partial recount. By law, the measure becomes law 30 days after the Governor has affirmed the results.
At that time, adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program will be able to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis and/or the total harvest produced by six mature plants.
Maine will become the eight US state to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for adults who possess marijuana for their own personal use.
Separate provisions in the measure also establish regulations for the commercial cultivation, retail sale, and social use of cannabis. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017. However, the Governor has called on lawmakers to push back this timeline. Massachusetts lawmakers last week enacted a similar delay to their retail sales program.
Governor LePage has been a strong opponent of implementing Question 1, stating, “If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that’s it.” He has also suggested increasing the retail sales tax rates associated with the measure, as well as abolishing the state’s medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999 — positions that NORML opposes.