Updated on January 7, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
November 02, 1999, Ballot Question 2, was approved, effectively removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, by patients who have either an oral or written “medical opinion” stating that he or she “may benefit from the medical use of marijuana”, from their medical physician.
The amendment, Senate Bill 611, on April 02, 2002, increased the maximum amount of usable marijuana a qualified patient may possess, from one and one-quarter to two and one-half (2.5) ounces.
While the amendment, Question 5, on November 03, 2009, updated the approved qualifying medical conditions to include: cancer, HIV / AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, nail-patella syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, chronic intractable pain, severe and persistent muscle spasms including multiple sclerosis, and seizures including epilepsy; in addition to establishing a patient and caregiver registry identification program; and providing instructions for the establishment and operation, of nonprofit dispensaries.
On June 25, 2013, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was added to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana use, as per LD 1062.
Patients in Maine diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Maine Medical Marijuana law, as per Ballot Question 2:
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Maine will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
According to Maine medical marijuana laws, the maximum amount patients and primary caregivers may legally possess, is no more than two and one-half (2.5) ounces of medical marijuana. And, may legally cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, only three of which may be mature at any one time.
Even though Maine voters decided in November 2016 to legalize marijuana possession for those 21 and older and gave state regulatory leaders nine months to establish rules for the sale of legal cannabis, a framework was nowhere near completion as of January 2017. As a result, state leaders decided to delay retail availability of weed until February 2018. However, patients with conditions that meet medical marijuana qualifications in Maine would still be able to obtain therapeutic weed.
But although weed may not be available through retail channels, cultivating and possessing pot is still legal. Leaders were still trying to determine which agency would be responsible for licensing legal marijuana. The original plan was for the Department of Agriculture to bear that responsibility, but the governor prefers that the liquor and lottery agency regulate rule-making.
In a disturbing story that also concerns Main medical marijuana qualifications, a kidney patient was removed from the state’s transplant wait list because he uses medical cannabis. State legislators were considering legislation that would prohibit Maine hospitals from doing so in the future.
Keep checking in with MarijuanaDoctors.com for further information, such as news relating to cannabis in Maine or how to obtain a medical marijuana card.