AUGUSTA, Maine (June 2, 2015) – Last Thursday, the Maine House passed a bill that would expand on the state’s current medical marijuana program, further nullifying in practice the unconstitutional federal program on the same.

Introduced in January by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland), Legislative Document 23 (LD23) “removes from the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act any limitation on the type of medical conditions for which patients may be certified by their physicians to engage in the medical use of marijuana.” It passed the state House on May 28 with a 113-32 vote.

In 1999, Maine passed the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, which started the process of nullifying in practice the unconstitutional federal prohibition within the state by authorizing the plant’s use in limited, medical situations. LD23 builds upon this nullification in a narrow but important way.

“My health decisions should be a private matter between my doctor and myself,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “Passage of this bill will not only help bring down the unconstitutional federal prohibition on a plant, but also expand liberty without restriction by the state of Maine.”

LD23 is not the only marijuana reform that was introduced this year in Maine. LD35 would increase patient access to medical marijuana while LD1401 would legalize marijuana fully and open a retail market for the plant in the state. This indicates that there is ample opportunity for Maine legislators to act immediately to sensibly and compassionately regulate marijuana.

With marijuana considered illegal by all branches of the federal government, this represents a significant expansion of the state-level, practical nullification of such prohibition from Washington D.C. 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.


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,” Boldin said.

Now that it has passed the state House, LD23 moves to the state Senate for further consideration.  Should it pass, it will be sent to Gov. LePage’s desk.

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