Medical Marijuana Proposal Approved
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Medical Marijuana Proposal Approved
Posted by CN Staff on November 04, 2009 at 04:14:45 PT
By David Hench, Portland Press Herald
Source: Kennebec Journal
Maine -- A proposal to expand the availability of medical marijuana in Maine was headed for passage late Tuesday night. Question 5 would expand Maine's medical marijuana law to permit marijuana to be used for treatment of many more conditions, and to create a system in which patients can get the drug from nonprofit dispensaries.With 136 precincts reporting statewide, 22 percent, the proposal was leading 71,620 to 43,244 -- a 62 percent to 38 percent edge.
"I think we're going to come out on top," said Jonathan Leavitt of Maine Citizens for Patients' Rights. "It's a good thing, because you have a law that's not working right now and passage of Question 5 will guarantee patients have access to their medicine."Police worry that the change could lead to diversion of the drug.Maine is one of 13 states that allow the use of medical marijuana, a group that includes Montana, Hawaii, Rhode Island and California.In 1999, Maine voters approved a citizen initiative that allows patients to grow their own medical marijuana or appoint a designated care-giver to grow it for them.The law allows doctors to recommend use of marijuana for conditions including "persistent nausea, vomiting, wasting syndrome or loss of appetite" caused by AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. It allows patients to grow as many as six plants so they can supply their own marijuana. Supporters of Question 5 said it is impractical to require people who are sick and in severe pain to grow their own marijuana.National groups that advocate access to medical marijuana were watching Maine's vote, the first since the Obama administration said it would not federally prosecute patients who use marijuana medicinally, even though the federal law prohibits it."It's great to see Maine leapfrog other states in adopting cutting-edge medical marijuana legislation," said Jill Harris, managing director of public policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, anticipating victory for Question 5.The proposal was opposed by many in the criminal justice system and some treatment professionals. The Maine Prosecutors Association and Maine Chiefs of Police Association urged a "no" vote, saying the law would create dispensaries that are largely unregulated."Under Question 5, there is no meaningful oversight of the dispensaries, distributors or the people allowed to consume substantial quantities of marijuana," said the prosecutors. Source: Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME)Author: David Hench, Portland Press HeraldPublished: November 4, 2009Copyright: 2009 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.Contact: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by EAH on November 04, 2009 at 12:10:00 PT:
Good PR wise, less good on paper
From the question 5 text."4. Felons are excluded from being caregivers even if charges stemmed from growing marijuana only."Who thought that was a fair and necessary thing to do? Setting out to specifically exclude anyone unfortunate enough to have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system. Such a stipulation does not exclude all prior cannabis law breakers, just the ones who got caught. That is so blatantly unfair and mean I can't believe it. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on November 04, 2009 at 08:36:59 PT
This is new. I hope he's not lying.
"However, he said, “We’ll do our best to make this law work and respect the will of the voters.”"It's "New" because, usually, when reason on this matter wins a vote, the bureaucracy and it's minions are all, "The voters don't know what they voted for". "The voters were misled." "The voters were duped." "The voters are crazy", or whatever prohibitionists can imagine to be the reason. So this is new... except for the ones that said it before, but were obviously lying.So this guy didn't go into fanciful denial, which I was expecting, as is quite usual, as I read the things he was saying to the reporters. Alas, he couldn't resist a whine about how "difficult" it will be ... and he definitely hinted at the public being misled when he mentioned the "activist" thing... rather venomously, it seemed. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 04, 2009 at 07:57:10 PT
Maine Voters Approve Med Marijuana Law Expansion
AUGUSTA, Maine, Nov. 4 (UPI) — A referendum to expand Maine’s medical marijuana law won handily on Election Day.With 86 percent of the precincts reporting, the measure was ahead 58 percent to 41 percent, the Bangor Daily News reported Wednesday.The measure eases access to marijuana for individuals with certain medical conditions by expanding the list of qualifying conditions, creates a state-regulated registry of qualified users and allows for a statewide system of storefront distribution centers.“This confirms what our polling has told us all along,” said Jonathan Leavitt, campaign manager of Maine Citizens for Patient Rights. “The credibility of this issue is so strong, we didn’t need to convince anyone that this was the right thing to do.”Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle, also president of the state’s prosecutors association, said the measure would be difficult to enforce.“It’s a very poor law,” Fowle said. “This was written by self-proclaimed marijuana activists. … The ultimate goal of the people behind this law is to legalize marijuana.”However, he said, “We’ll do our best to make this law work and respect the will of the voters.”Copyright 2009 by United Press InternationalURL:
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