Voters have approved a referendum which makes Maine the 5th state to allow retail marijuana dispensaries. While it shares the distinctive law with California advocates in the state make the point that it won’t have the same problems that the other state has (California has hundred of shops that dispense the drug, causing speculation that it’s become a retail industry rather than the help that laws laid it out to be).
Maine approved legal medical marijuana dispensaries 59% to 41% falling in the footsteps of states like California, Rhode Island, New Mexico. The referendum passed despite opposition In the state which doubted Maine would be any more successful than California in maintain their dispensaries. In Maine however there are stricter provisions that limit the sale of medical marijuana more than those in California. In Maine all dispensaries must be licensed by the state and medical conditions which qualify for marijuana are limited to specific conditions. California law allows doctors to determine what conditions warrant medical use and allows for “non-profit” dispensaries.
Fourteen states have laws that allow medical use of marijuana; Maine’s laws have allowed its use for conditions such as AIDS, cancer and MS since 1999. Originally the law allowed patients to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or as many as 6 plants, but many of these patients had no legal way to get the drug before the referendum was passed.
With Obama’s decision to block legal action against federal action against those using the drug for medical purposes under state laws, the amount of these laws and referendums could go up. A change that many feel could lead to problems.