AUGUSTA, Maine (May 19, 2015) – A bill introduced in Maine this month would authorize marijuana to be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol, legalizing the plant, and effectively nullifying the federal prohibition on the same.

LD1401 was introduced on May 12 by Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland) and seven bipartisan co-sponsors. If this bill is successful, Maine would become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes through the legislature rather than the popular vote.

LD1401 permits a Maine resident aged 21 or older to do the following:

Transport cannabis accessories and up to one ounce of cannabis, or its equivalent in cannabis products…

Transfer or furnish, without remuneration, up to one ounce of cannabis, or its equivalent in cannabis products, to a person who is 21 years of age or older…

Purchase up to one ounce of cannabis, or its equivalent in cannabis products, cannabis seedlings, clones, seeds and cannabis accessories from a retail cannabis store.

In addition, individuals aged 21 or older would be allowed to “cultivate up to 3 flowering cannabis plants at that person’s place of residence, on property owned by that person or, with the permission of the owner, on another person’s property” as long as “reasonable precautions” are taken to keep the plants away from minors.

Under LD1401, it would still be a “a civil violation for which a fine of $100 may be adjudged” to smoke cannabis in a public place. Cannabis retail outlets would be licensed by the state and marijuana sold by the retailers would be subject to a 10 percent sales tax. The existing medical marijuana program in Maine would not be affected by the provisions of LD1401.

Two other bills are active in the Maine state legislature this year (LD23 and LD35) that would increase patient access to medical marijuana, expanding on the limited nullification of the federal prohibition on the plant. Although these bills are not as comprehensive as LD1401, it shows that there is ample opportunity for Maine legislators to act immediately to sensibly and compassionately regulate marijuana.

The best thing about measures such as these is that they are completely lawful and Constitutional, and there is little if anything the feds can do to stop them in practice.

CONSTITUTIONALITY

Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. However, nearly two-dozen states have taken steps to put the well-being of their citizens above the so-called federal supremacy by legalizing marijuana to varying degrees anyway.

“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully effectively reject unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.

The momentum is on our side, but Maine cannot legalize it without your help. This effort needs your support to achieve victory. LD1401 is currently in Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee where it will need to pass through successfully before it can receive a full vote in the state House.

ACTION ITEMS

If you live in Maine, support this bill by following all the action steps at THIS LINK.

All Other States, take action to push back against the federal drug war at this link.


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