Legal Marijuana in Focus: Maine

States that allowed medical marijuana before 2009 faced a serious hurdle back then. While state laws permitted the sale of medical marijuana, federal laws may not; and even if you consumed weed within a state where the drug was legal, federal law trumps all under the supremacy clause. It’s like your big brother gets a bigger allowance because he’s older.

Maine is one of those states. When it legalized medical marijuana in 1999, the state immediately came in conflict with federal law, which still considered it an illicit substance. As a result, even with 61 percent of Maine approving legalized pot—one of the highest referendum results on legalizing pot—lawful distribution remained nearly inactive for ten years.

Then in 2009, the Obama administration announced that it would end raids on medical cannabis distributors, provided they complied with state law. Maine consequently revamped its regulations with LD 975, which established the Maine Medical Marijuana Act that same year. The legislative document was approved by 59 percent of voters, lower than the previous referendum but still substantial.

This sums up the various reasons for the difficulty in legalizing medical marijuana. In any case, dispensaries operating in marijuana-legal states are advised to be updated on legislative developments, both within the state boundaries and in D.C.


Posted on October 2, 2014, in Dispensaries, Health, Health Services, Marijuana, Products and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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