The possession, personal cultivation and state-sanctioned distribution of cannabis would be legal for those 21 and older in Maine, if a bill filed this week by Representative Diane Russell is passed into law.
H.P. 935 would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and to cultivate up to six plants at a private residence. Cannabis retail outlets would be authorized to distribute the plant to those 21 and older, with the retail outlets being supplied by state-licensed cultivation centers. Cannabis would be taxed at 10%.
The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
The filing of H.P. 935 occurred the same day the Maine Secretary of State gave approval to an initiative to legalize cannabis, giving advocates the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to put it to a vote in next year’s presidential election.
A proposal to legalize medical cannabis, including state-authorized dispensaries, has been given unanimous approval by Louisiana’s Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis Passes Louisiana Senate Committee
The measure – Senate Bill 143 – would allow those with a limited number of medical conditions who receive a recommendation from a physician to possess and use medical cannabis in any form except inhalation, meaning that patients would need to rely on other forms of use, such as through oils, vaporizers, edibles and topicals. The qualifying medical conditions – which would have been any “medically recognized disease or condition” – was amended in committee to be glaucoma, cancer and spastic quadriplegia.
The bill would establish a system of state-licensed dispensaries and cultivation centers, to be regulated by the Department of Pharmacy.
Louisiana’s Legislature has passed medical cannabis legislation before – most recently in 1991 – though the laws were never properly implemented, never provided doctors or patients with protection from prosecution, and never established a means of distribution for the medicine. Senate Bill 143 was filed as a means of fixing the discrepancies in the law
Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Senator Fred Mills (R-New Iberia), is now up for a full Senate vote, where its passage will send it to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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The organization Legalize Maine has received approval from Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap to begin collecting signatures on their initiative to legalize cannabis. The group is now required to collect 61,123 valid signatures to put the proposal to a vote of the people next year.
If placed on the ballot and approved into law, the initiative would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and would authorize cannabis social clubs where individuals could buy and use the therapeutic substance. Cannabis would be taxed at 10%.
A separate cannabis legalization initiative, also aiming for the 2016 ballot, was filed last month by the Marijuana Policy Project. Their initiative – which is modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64 – would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and the personal cultivation of up to six plants, in addition to authorizing state-licensed cannabis retail outlets.
Initiative Campaign to Legalize Cannabis in Maine Underway
Maine’s Secretary of State Gives Approval to Cannabis Legalization Initiative
Cannabis Legalization Initiative Given Approval by Maine Secretary of State
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