Marijuana Petition Aimed at Referendum

  Marijuana Petition Aimed at Referendum

Posted by CN Staff on November 15, 2006 at 08:11:11 PT
By Jane Andrews 

Maine -- A group of people promoting marijuana for medical purposes wants to put the issue before voters again to set up a way to dispense the drug to patients and clarify the existing law.By election day, proponents had collected signatures on a petition in Belfast and other communities totaling more than 21,000 in hopes that they will have more than the number needed to put the issue on the ballot.
Lynn Rayburn of Belfast said the proposal would require the legislature to designate at least one marijuana outlet store or buyers’ club per county and one in each municipality that has more than 25,000 residents.The outlet stores and clubs must be run by patients and designated marijuana providers and overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, Rayburn said.A Department of Agriculture spokesman hadn’t seen the petition or been asked to review it and said he would have to consult with his colleagues at the departments of public safety and public health and the governor’s office.“At current staff levels, we are ill equipped to do that,” said Ned Porter, deputy commissioner. “Other than that, I don’t know because I haven’t seen the proposal.”State public health director Dora Anne Mills said there appears to be a medical place for the chemicals in marijuana, but there are problems with a delivery system that consists of inhaling smoke from marijuana cigarettes.“You can’t dose it properly, there are often contaminants and the smoke is an issue,” said Mills, who is a doctor. “You need to work on an alternative delivery system.” Don Christie, founder of Maine Vocals, drafted the petition and submitted it to the Secretary of State’s office. He hopes to have the 51,000 to 53,000 signatures needed to put the issue before voters in 2007 or 2008.“It would be the best marijuana law in the U.S. if it passes,” said Christie. “It would be placed under the Department of Agriculture.”Vocals is a group dedicated to legalizing marijuana for people over the age of 18, but Christie said at the moment, the organization is just advocating its use for medical purposes.Vocals and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) say marijuana helps people with epilepsy and glaucoma, cancer, AIDS, neurological seizures and severe muscle spasticity.Rayburn had worked on referendum issues in other states she has lived in and said when a friend asked her to help in Belfast, where she now lives, she agreed to do it.“The side effects of chemotherapy are ghastly and there’s no synthetic drug to alleviate them,” she said, referring to another medical use.Voters passed the Maine Medical Marijuana Act in 1999 to increase the treatment options for seriously or terminally ill patients, protect doctors from criminal or professional sanctions if they recommend it and provide patients with a legal defense if they are arrested for using medical marijuana recommended by a physician.More than 61 percent of the voters approved the referendum question while 38.6 percent voted “no.”The current petition attempts to clarify portions of that law.It defines “patient” as a person who has the written or oral recommendation of a physician for the use of marijuana or who has been diagnosed with an illness for which marijuana may provide relief.“Patient” also includes a person who has a family history of an illness for which marijuana is a preventative medicine including, but not limited to, epilepsy and glaucoma.It defines “designated marijuana provider” as a person who is designated by a patient to assume the responsibility for growing or providing marijuana for that patient. That person must be at least 18 or a family member of the patient. It limits the amount the patient or provider may possess.The state would have to establish an education campaign to inform the public about the medical uses of marijuana.Currently, anyone convicted of possession of marijuana who isn’t exempt under the medical marijuana act faces a fine of $350 to $600, according to NORML’s Web site.Those caught cultivating it face a jail sentence of six months to 10 years and fine of $1,000 to $2,000. Sale of marijuana may bring a jail sentence of one year to 10 years and fine of $2,000 to $20,000.Source: MaineCoastNow (ME)Author: Jane AndrewsPublished: Wednesday, November 15, 2006Copyright: 2006 Contact: trjmail courierpub.comWebsite: http://www.mainecoastnow.comNORML Medical Marijuana Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #7 posted by doc james on November 17, 2006 at 06:36:57 PT:
enlightening physicians on med mj
What does it take to teach these backwoods doctors the true value of marijuana as a medicine? It makes me sick to hear a foolish doctor that knows nothing about this miraculous herb spouting off the same old tune whilst dancin the same old jig. Wake up oh foolish learned physicians! Read the IOM report for starters. The gov'ments on scientists agree this herb is for real, a medicine. Pre-prohibition, cannabis was the most used medicine available and it was good for whatever ailed you. Wake up powers that b or we will secede from your nation and realize the green panther vision of a stoner nation on the west coast!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 15, 2006 at 13:36:20 PT
The ABC7 article is good and doesn't have the other issue in it. Thanks.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 15, 2006 at 13:32:17 PT
It's really good news. I keep looking for an article about San Francisco that doesn't take about the other issue but they haven't posted one yet. This definitely deserves it's very own article.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by laduncon on November 15, 2006 at 13:15:10 PT
Italy eases 'personal use' cannabis limits,2106,3860835a12,00.html
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by laduncon on November 15, 2006 at 13:12:48 PT
Mas news por la cannabists
S.F. Passes Marijuana Tolerance Law Francisco Supervisors Vote to Deprioritize Adult Marijuana Offenses's about time, eh!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Celaya on November 15, 2006 at 12:11:40 PT
Learned "doctors"
“You can’t dose it properly, there are often contaminants and the smoke is an issue,” said Mills, who is a doctor. “You need to work on an alternative delivery system.”How can a doctor pontificate on something he is apparently so ignorant about? All the real experts say the advantage of smoked marijuana - over marinol, etc. - is that you can titrate (or dose) it perfectly. Perhaps he is referring to different potency levels, but that is adjusted for with the first smoke out of a new bag. Also, of course, people have a pretty good idea of the potency when they buy it.Then, whining "smoke is an issue" when anyone that knows anything about marijuana knows vaporizers easily eliminate that "issue."This country needs a great, big dose of 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 15, 2006 at 12:06:21 PT
Just a Comment
I fixed the spelling error I made on the source in this article. Sorry for the mistake. I can't find any news worth posting so I do hope everyone has a good day and I will keep looking for news. Hopefully a detailed article on San Francisco will surface today sometime.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment