Maine Votes 'Yes' on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

By chillinwill · Nov 4, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Becomes 3rd State to License Medical Marijuana Providers; Vote Seen as Latest Advance Spurred by Obama Policy

    In a landmark vote, Maine voters today approved Question 5, making the state the third in the country to license nonprofit organizations to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients and the first ever to do so by a vote of the people.

    With 49 percent of the vote tallied, the measure was cruising to an easy win with 60.2 percent voting “yes” and 39.8 percent voting “no.”

    Under the measure, the state will license nonprofit organizations to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients and set rules for their operation. While 13 states permit medical use of marijuana, only Rhode Island and New Mexico have similar dispensary provisions, both of which were adopted by the states’ legislatures. Maine’s original medical marijuana law was passed in 1999.

    “This is a dramatic step forward, the first time that any state’s voters have authorized the state government to license medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., which drafted the initiative and provided start-up funding for the campaign. “Coming a decade after passage of Maine’s original marijuana law, this is a huge sign that voters are comfortable with these laws, and also a sign that the recent change of policy from the Obama administration is having a major impact.”

    In October, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a formal policy indicating that federal prosecutors should not prosecute medical marijuana activities authorized by state law.

    Question 5 also expands the list of medical conditions qualifying for protection under Maine’s law to include several conditions that are included in most other medical marijuana states, including intractable pain, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”).

    November 3, 2009

    Share This Article


  1. waiting281
    this is really good news, I hope a lot of people get the relief they need, and the bright side for the recreational crowd, we're one little step closer to legalization!

    I want to hear some opinions though, will marijuana be legalized/controlled in the next 5-10 years?
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Maine Governor Issues Marijuana Order

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) ― The medical marijuana law approved by Maine voters this week has prompted action by Gov. John Baldacci.

    The governor on Friday ordered creation of a task force that will recommend how to implement the new law, which makes Maine the fifth state to allow licensed dispensaries where marijuana can be distributed to medical patients.

    The 14-member task force will include representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services, police, the medical community and patient advocates. Four members will be appointed by legislative leaders.

    Baldacci said creating a new pharmaceutical distribution system is a complicated undertaking. He said the goal is to follow the spirit and intent of the law while avoiding unintended consequences.

    Nov 6, 2009 4:39 pm US/Eastern
    Associated Press


    Comment: I think the last line is the important one...we'll see how this plays out...
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!