01.30.2017
policy

Recreational Marijuana Is Now Officially Legal in Maine

But you can't actually buy any pot in any legal stores yet.

It's been a long time coming, but as of Monday, personal-use recreational marijuana is legal in Maine, per the November passing of Question 1. Pine Tree State adults may now possess up to 2.5 oz of cannabis, grow up to 6 plants, gift the herb, and smoke to their hearts' content, without the fear of arrest.

Maine was one of eight states where voters approved weed-related legislation in November, and has operated a medical marijuana program since 1999. Though it is likely that many a 21+ Mainer will be lighting up after work on Monday, there too was much contention surrounding the results of Question 1––which saw approval by 4,000 more "yes" than "no" votes––such as the opposition calling for a recount––which floundered and never went down––and a mandated delay for the rules to take effect.  

"It's huge. No longer will we be punishing adults for using a safer substance than alcohol," David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot question told reporters. "We're not making criminals out of thousands of Mainers who choose to use marijuana."

Still, retail cannabis businesses will not be able to operate in Maine until February 2018, which gives lawmakers just over a year to establish the regulatory framework that would govern all marijuana transactions. 

State-by-state legalization laws have the cannabis industry as growing fast, and quickly becoming a thriving, lucrative sector of the American economy. Maine joins California, Nevada, and Massachusetts in approving the legal, recreational adult-use of marijuana, this year. 

Though a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the weed world, as speculation surrounding how the new administration under President Trump will enforce federal drug laws, or if under the influence of potential attorney general Jeff Sessions, it will come after weed-legal states.

 

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