Pubdate: Wed, 03 Apr 2002
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2002 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project


AUGUSTA - The stacks of bills being sent to Gov. Angus King are
growing as the Legislature works toward completion of the 2002 session.

Among those signed into law are measures dealing with Maineis medical
marijuana law, child safety in cars, and the rights of some felons
recovering from substance abuse to receive public assistance.

One bill makes changes to a medical marijuana law approved by Maine
voters in 1999. It increases the amount of usable marijuana a patient
may possess from 1.25 ounces to 2.5 ounces.

It also clarifies legal protections for patients and caregivers.

"This is significant because it is the first time that a state
legislature has voted to expand legal protections for medical users of
marijuana," said Richard Schmitz of the Marijuana Policy Project in

Other states have sought to cut back protections and even undo
voter-approved medical marijuana laws, Schmitz said. Maine is one of
eight states with medical marijuana laws, according to the
Washington-based group.

The governor signed a bill that will require children who weigh 40 to
80 pounds and are younger than 8 years old to be secured in booster
seats. Boosters are designed to make childrenis lap and shoulder belts
fit better.

The bill also requires children under 12 or less than 100 pounds to
sit in the rear seat of a car whenever possible.

Another bill signed by King provides that a person who is eligible to
receive food stamps or to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families may not be denied public assistance because the person has
been convicted of a drug-related felony.

Federal law denies assistance to such a person unless a state
legislature allows exemptions.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake