Pubdate: Tue, 10 Apr 2001
Source: Portland Press Herald (ME)
Copyright: 2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


SKOWHEGAN (AP) - A group advocating the legalization of marijuana is 
planning to start petition drives aimed at revamping Maine's medical 
marijuana law and legalizing the cultivation of industrial-grade hemp.

Donald Christen, president of The Maine Vocals, said they will try to 
collect 42,000 signatures for each of the petitions to get the issues on 
the November 2002 ballot. The Secretary of State's Office has already 
approved the wording of the petition on the medical marijuana law, he said.

He criticized Maine's current medical marijuana law as unworkable, saying 
it doesn't allow patients to grow or possess enough marijuana.

The Legislature, meanwhile, has been unable to come up with a way to assure 
patients an adequate supply, Christen said. The law allows patients to grow 
six plants at a time, but his group wants to let voters decide whether 
patients should be able to grow up to 99 plants.

Hemp is marijuana's non-halluci-nogenic relative whose fibers can be used 
for clothing and other products.
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