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Maine Medical Marijuana Program Activists Seek Clarification Over Laws
From Maine Vocals + Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana
(BANGOR, Maine) - Maine citizens recently voted on the issue of medical marijuana and by over 100,000 ballots cast, approved a medical marijuana initiative. Now two groups; Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana and Maine Vocals, are trying to help bring clarity to existing laws.
"The people obviously wanted to improve our current law for medical marijuana, but not many really read or understood the language in the ballot initiative."
They point to several issues with the new law that are a real problem, and will make the law worse than it was, although the old law did need some fixing.
They say the first Issue is that, "The new law is written for big brother with their authority and regulations, and run by those who do not want this law to work or succeed, contrary to the will of the People."
The groups say the second issue is, who is going to oversee the medical marijuana law and the dispensaries, which is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. "This is a conflict of interest and recipe for failure for several reasons," they added.
They describe the third issue as the way the Dispensaries are being set up and run with a $5,000.00 state permit fee, with more likely than not, county and local fees, plus regulations.
The fourth issue that's a matter of concern according to these activists, is the I.D. Card System that supplies the state with a list of names of all medical marijuana patients and also gives special privileges to patients who possess a valid State I.D. Card. "Those who only possess the Doctor's authorization in writing will not be treated the same, and will have to dance to a different drummer."
There are several more issues with the new law that groups say have to be dealt with, "along with the fact that the Marijuana Policy Project, from Washington D.C., who wrote this law, left out the most important issues Maine Citizens needed to be changed with the prior law."
Not many doctors are cooperating with patients who want to use marijuana in their therapy, so adding to the way a patient qualifies for use of marijuana by allowing for a diagnosis of an illness for which marijuana may provide relief will solve that. Patients then will be able to decide for themselves, and doctors will have to work with them.
That the amount of plants that can be grown needs to be upgraded from 6 Plants to 12 plants in order to grow enough for the year and maintain plants for future use.
It is important that the state upgrade the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess, from 2 ½ ounces up to 3 lbs. "The amount a plant grows varies, but it is possible to yield ½ lb to 1 lb of marijuana per plant if the plants do really good. It is impossible to harvest even one plant under the current law or prior law, so these are some of the things that absolutely need to be fixed, along with a few other issues to make our medical marijuana law work for Maine. This along with actually making it legal, instead of an affirmative defense, which has been a problem and makes this law a unique, one-of-a- kind law, but shouldn’t be any different than any other law."
The Department that is in control of the legislative regulations would change from the DHS to the Dept. of Agriculture with a committee of designated members to oversee the program which will include patients, caregivers, and doctors as well as legislators and others. It also sets in place certain guidelines for the committee and legislators to go by, not leaving it open for "anything goes".
Another aspect missing is a definition of a “Public Place” which needs to be included.
The two groups say Maine also needs to develop a system for how a dispensary is to be run, and to make it legal for privately operated dispensaries as well as the appointed state locations.
Maine Vocals and Maine Citizens for Medical Marijuana will be circulating an initiative to fix this law to actually work for the citizens of Maine who need marijuana for their medicine for 2010. The language proposed is up on mainevocals.net or mcfmm.com so go to it and read it yourself to know exactly what we are proposing. It will include the repeal of the 2009 vote, and a few changes that will be posted soon.
"Maine Vocals will also be circulating a full legalization initiative to run alongside the medical initiative, as the public has shown great interest in and support for the "just legalize it" attitude, which is what we have been told by young and old alike during our mission of educating the public statewide, while we have been patiently getting our initiative ready to move forward."
The team will need help from many volunteers to get this done. They are seeking volunteers, and can be reached at:
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