Maine Medical Marijuana Laws

Maine Ballot Question 2 -- Approved Nov. 2, 1999 by 61% of voters
Effective: Dec. 22, 1999
Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess an oral or written "professional opinion" from their physician that he or she "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.

Approved diagnosis: epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea or vomiting as a result of AIDS or cancer chemotherapy.

Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one and one-quarter (1.25) ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. Those patients who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law are afforded a "simple defense" to a charge of marijuana possession.

Amended: Senate Bill 611
Effective: Signed into law on Apr. 2, 2002

Increases the amount of useable marijuana a person may possess from one and one-quarter (1.25) ounces to two and one-half (2.5) ounces.

Amended: Question 5  (135 KB) -- Approved Nov. 3, 2009 by 59% of voters

List of approved conditions changed to include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's, nail-patella syndrome, chronic intractable pain, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.

Instructs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to establish a registry identification program for patients and caregivers. Stipulates provisions for the operation of nonprofit dispensaries.

[Editor's Note: An Aug. 19, 2010 email to ProCon.org from Catherine M. Cobb, Director of Maine's Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, stated:

"We have just set up our interface to do background checks on caregivers and those who are associated with dispensaries. They may not have a disqualifying drug offense."]
 

Usable amount with proof of physician's recommendation none none none
"Usable Amount" (under <2.5 oz) civil violation none $350 - $600
subsequent violation within 6 months $550
2.5 oz or more Presumption of Sale, Rebuttable


Cultivation

  • 5 plants or less class E misdemeanor 6 months $1,000
  • 5 - 100 plants class D misdemeanor 1 year $2,000
  • 100 - 500 plants class C felony 5 years $5,000
  • More than 500 plants class B felony 10 years $20,000

Sale

  • 1 lb or less class D misdemeanor 1 year $2,000
  • 1 lb - 20 lbs class C felony 5 years $5,000
  • 20 lbs or more class B felony 10 years $20,000
  • Sale to minor or within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus felony 5 years $5,000
  • Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)
  • Paraphernalia possession and use  civil violation none $300
  • Paraphernalia sale misdemeanor 6 months $1,000
  • Paraphernalia sale to a minor misdemeanor 1 year $2,000
  • Any conviction may cause professional license suspension or revocation.


Details

Possession of less than 2.5 ounces is a civil violation, punishable by a fine of $200 - $400. Possession of 2.5 ounces or more is considered evidence of intent to distribute and is punished as such (see below).

Possession of a usable amount of marijuana is lawful if at the time of the possession the person has an authenticated copy of a medical record demonstrating that the person has a physician's recommendation.

Cultivation of five plants or less of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For greater than five plants, the penalties increase to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. For greater than 100 plants the possible punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. For any amount of plants greater than 500, the penalties increase to up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

The penalty for sale of marijuana is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000. The penalties increase to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if the sale was made to a minor or if it occurred within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus.

Possession of greater than one pound of marijuana is considered trafficking and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Possession and personal use of paraphernalia is a civil violation punishable by a fine of $200. The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the penalty increases to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Upon conviction, the court may suspend or revoke the professional license of the offender.

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