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Legalizing Weed: 3 Quotes From Lawmakers After Pot Became Legal in Parts of Maine

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 04:50 PM

Medical marijuana became legal in Maine in 1999, but not all parts of the state have the same regulations. The Legislature decriminalized all forms of weed in 2009, making it a civil infraction for possession.

But in Portland, residents approved legalizing the possession of up to 2.5 ounces in the 2013 election, with 67 percent of the voters in favor, the International Business Times reported.

The Legislature is considering a move to recreational marijuana as well.

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According to Leafly, “Maine’s reputation for having one of the best medical marijuana programs in the country will certainly serve them well in an upcoming bid for legalization in 2016.”

Here’s what lawmakers have to say about Maine’s moves to legalize weed.

1. “I have become a huge advocate for this program, but it’s only because I became educated,” she said. “I think the general public is now starting to see it, too,” said Rep. Deborah Sanderson, speaking on behalf of the benefits of medical marijuana, according to the Portland Press Herald.

2. Medical marijuana legalization opened the doors to a number of state proposals moving towards recreational legalization, according to centralmaine.com.

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“I hope the Legislature does the right thing and realizes that the chaos that is happening (with multiple proposals) doesn’t need to be there,” she said. “If anything, I think the number of ways that legalization has come forward is indicative of just how ready Maine is to move forward on this,” said Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland.

3. “Since medical marijuana became legalized, there’s always been a need to refine the law,” said Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, co-chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. “It’s still relatively new to our state.”

Brakey was speaking on behalf of a new proposal to allow medical marijuana in hospitals and nursing home facilities. He would like to see medical marijuana available to patients who need the drug, according to CentralMaine.com.

“We’re talking about young children who have upwards of 200 seizures a day and who could not live a normal life until a doctor recommended medical marijuana for them,” Brakey said. “Suddenly, because of prohibitions when they are in the hospital, they are separated from the only medicine they have found that works for them and they go back to having 200 seizures a day.”

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Medical marijuana became legal in Maine in 1999, but not all parts of the state have the same regulations. The Legislature decriminalized all forms of weed in 2009, making it a civil infraction for possession.
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