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1US ME: Marijuana Business Offers Weed For Weeds On Cleanup DayMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:07/24/2017

GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- A medical marijuana businessman in Maine is offering weed for weeds in a program to encourage Gardiner residents to clean up their city.

WCSH-TV reports ( ) that Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, offered residents who collected trash Saturday free marijuana. The businessman says anyone who was over 21 was offered free marijuana if they presented a bag of trash that was collected in town.

Meehan's company advertised the cleanup effort on Facebook, and he says he hopes to expand what he calls "the day of service" program to the entire state. Mehan says the program is about bringing awareness to the "life-changing" nature of cannabis as well.

Gifting marijuana is legal in Maine.

Meehan says he got the idea for the swap from a Colorado town's similar program.


2 US ME: Dozens Pick Up Trash, With Pot Giveaway As IncentiveMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME) Author:Edwards, Keith Area:Maine Lines:116 Added:07/24/2017

A Gardiner medical marijuana caregiver says dozens of people took part in a cleanup Saturday in which he and other growers provided a gram of marijuana for every bag of trash collected on city streets by participants.

Dennis Meehan, who runs Summit Medical Marijuana with other members of his family in downtown Gardiner, said "several dozen" participants filled more than 100 trash bags - every bag they had on hand.

While he said he isn't sure how much marijuana he gave away, the trash bin was filled beyond the top, and overflowing.

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3US ME: Opponents Of Legalized Marijuana Set To Request Recount, AtTue, 15 Nov 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Graham, Gillian Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:11/18/2016

A leader of the group opposed to marijuana legalization said Monday that it will request a recount of votes on the statewide ballot question that passed by a narrow margin last week.

Such a recount, involving more than 757,000 ballots, could take a month to conduct and cost the state $500,000, the Secretary of State's Office said Monday.

Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities, which opposed Question 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot, is circulating petitions to collect the 100 signatures needed to request a recount. Scott Gagnon, campaign manager for the group, said the petitions will be turned in to the Secretary of State's Office before the deadline at 5 p.m. Wednesday.


4 US ME: PUB LTE: Legalized Marijuana Offers Protections For KidsFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Snow, Tammie Area:Maine Lines:35 Added:11/08/2016

As a mother, I understand the fears about legalizing marijuana. Parents want the best for our children.

We worry about addiction. But research unfailingly has shown that most hard-drug users start with alcohol or tobacco, not cannabis. And marijuana has never caused a single death, unlike opiates or alcohol.

Parents worry about teen use. Question 1 will better protect our kids, who, everyone agrees, should not use marijuana.

From other states, we know Maine teens won't use more marijuana if we vote "yes" on 1. In addition, black-market dealers do not check IDs and do not test their products, putting our kids at risk.

Maine can create a legal, regulated market for adults that tests and labels products for safety, conforms to marketing restrictions, requires child-proof packaging, only sells to adults, and is accountable to us.

Tammie Snow



5 US ME: LTE: Damage To Lives, Economy Demands Question 1 DefeatFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Lyons, Frank Area:Maine Lines:38 Added:11/08/2016

Experience as a 30-year veteran of law enforcement causes me concern regarding misinformation being disseminated regarding Question 1.

For more than three decades, smoking marijuana has been a civil violation resulting in neither arrest nor a criminal record. It is ludicrous to suggest that a civil violation would impede investigations of domestic violence or missing persons.

Most marijuana civil summonses, which can be useful as plea bargaining leverage, are issued as a result of a traffic stop, a search after arrest or in conjunction with a criminal investigation.

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6 US ME: LTE: Question 1 Is Flawed And DangerousThu, 03 Nov 2016
Source:Times Record (Brunswick, ME) Author:Peavey, James Area:Maine Lines:55 Added:11/08/2016

You may have heard about the biggest mistake in Question 1, which is the removal of the prohibition of marijuana possession by minors. A very big mistake, but there are many more flaws. While the prohibition ban for minors could be corrected by the Legislature, we've seen how well that's been working lately. There are a number of issues that are not getting much publicity:

* Any respected law enforcement official will say the pursuit of offenders for the civil offense of possession is not keeping one officer from investigating homicides or looking for abducted children.

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7 US ME: Editorial: Times Record Endorses Maine ReferendumsFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Times Record (Brunswick, ME)          Area:Maine Lines:32 Added:11/08/2016

Maine voters are deciding on six referendums this election. Here are The Times Record's endorsements.

Question 1 seeks to allow the recreational use and tax of marijuana. It's past time to legalize marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug in the nation. According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Americans admit having tried marijuana, while 53 percent support legalization. Legalization would make recreational use safer, free up law enforcement and the courts to prosecute more serious crimes, and provide another source of badly-needed revenue for the state.

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8 US ME: OPED: Maine Can Keep Pot Illegal And Avoid Making The SameFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Morris, John Area:Maine Lines:104 Added:11/08/2016

I've spent my 50-year career in public safety and the military trying to protect and keep people safe. Some of the most challenging things I have dealt with were not actions of individuals but the consequences of political decisions. With Question 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana, you get to decide whether this law goes into effect. If it does, I can assure you the unintended consequences will be many.

As a naval officer during the Vietnam War, I saw young men devolve into addiction - first with marijuana and then with harder drugs such as heroin. As Waterville police chief, I saw parents neglect their children and watched as young people let their ambitions wallow in a haze of marijuana smoke. As commissioner of public safety, which includes Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Maine fire marshal's office, I read reports almost daily about marijuana-related incidents, crashes and crimes.

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9 US ME: OPED: Legalizing Marijuana Use Is The Rational Alternative ToFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Melnick, Alysia Area:Maine Lines:109 Added:11/08/2016

This paper acknowledges "the U.S.'s long war on drugs has been a dismal failure." On November 8, Maine voters will have the opportunity adopt a rational marijuana policy.

Question 1 would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over. It contains strong protections for kids, employers and landlords; provides local controls; prioritizes Maine farmers and businesses; expands access for all adults; and protects our m-edical marijuana program that has served patients since 1999.

This initiative is about civil liberties and privacy. It's about jobs and revenue. It's about protecting children and public safety. And it's about addressing our addiction epidemic.

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10 US ME: LTE: Marijuana MadnessThu, 03 Nov 2016
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Cindi, Area:Maine Lines:45 Added:11/08/2016

Our biggest problem with Question 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana, is how more drug exposure may affect our children. At Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado, there has been 51 percent increase in children under age 18 needing emergency room treatment for marijuana-related conditions over the last two years. A lot of these kids are getting their marijuana by ingesting marijuana edibles - candy, cookies, lollipops. Do you want pot shops and pot bars opening up next to your schools, churches, houses, parks and playgrounds?

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11US ME: OPED: Maine Medical Association Criticizes Question 1Fri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Pattavina, Charles F. Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:11/08/2016

We disagree with your recent editorial supporting Question 1.

I am currently president of the Maine Medical Association, consisting of over 4,000 Maine physicians and physicians-in-training. In furtherance of our mission to protect public health, we urge voters to oppose Question 1.

Surveys of our member physicians show most oppose the ballot question, which would allow unrestricted recreational use of marijuana. The MMA's position mirrors those of the Maine Hospital Association, the Maine Public Health Association and the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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12US ME: Audience Gets Rowdy At Debate On Marijuana Referendum At UnityFri, 04 Nov 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Amour, Madeline St. Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:11/08/2016

Two advocates who previously worked to legalize medical marijuana in Maine together debated the hot topic of recreational marijuana legalization initiative Question 1, taking questions from a raucous audience that ranged from children to medical marijuana caregivers.

The debate was held at Unity College Performing Arts Center, which was nearly full to its capacity of about 100 people and smelled faintly of marijuana. A wide variety of people turned out for the event, including families, students, caregivers and a man dressed as a Rasta banana.

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13 US ME: A Lifesaver for Heroin Users, but No Cure for anSun, 31 Jul 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Seelye, Katharine Q. Area:Maine Lines:202 Added:07/31/2016

PORTLAND, Me. - A woman in her 30s was sitting in a car in a parking lot here last month, shooting up heroin, when she overdosed. Even after the men she was with injected her with naloxone, the drug that reverses opioid overdoses, she remained unconscious. They called 911.

Firefighters arrived and administered oxygen to improve her breathing, but her skin had grown gray and her lips had turned blue. As she lay on the asphalt, the paramedics slipped a needle into her arm and injected another dose of naloxone.

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14US ME: State Says Medical Marijuana Can't Be Used to TreatTue, 12 Jul 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Hoey, Dennis Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:07/16/2016

The Department of Health and Human Services denies a petition by a caregiver who sought to add addiction to the list of medical conditions that qualify for marijuana prescriptions.

A state agency has denied a petition to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for treatment of addiction to opioids and other drugs.

Dawson Julia, a medical marijuana caregiver in Unity, filed the petition Jan. 12 and was informed of the denial Monday in a letter from Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew. Julia had sought to add "Addiction to Opiates and drugs derived from chemical synthesis" to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. The list currently includes glaucoma, cancer and other conditions.

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15 US ME: Maine Receives Just Two Applications To Grow HempTue, 12 Jul 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:35 Added:07/12/2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - So far, only the Passamaquoddy Tribe and a Portland resident have received permission to grow what would be the state's first licensed crops of industrial hemp. They are going into unknown territory in Maine at a time when federal law prohibits commercial hemp cultivation.

Republican state Representative Deborah Sanderson, of Chelsea, who sponsored last summer's hemp legalization bill, said the state's been "very slow" in getting the crop going. Benedicta potato farmer Glenn Lane said the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry has prolonged the rule-making process.

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16US ME: OPED: How Substance Abuse Can Squander the Best YearsSat, 04 Jun 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Walsh, Pat Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:06/05/2016

Common Sense Should Say That Legalized Marijuana Isn't Going to Maximize Anyone's Potential.

If you use alcohol, nicotine or other drugs to help you cope with the challenges of your daily life, please read on. I wrote this for you.

I'm 71 now, with plenty of time to look back over my life and consider what I might have done differently, what I might have achieved, if I hadn't been hooked on alcohol and nicotine.

It will be 15 years this October since I finally had my last drink and last cigarette and embraced a healthy lifestyle permanently. I wish I had learned how to do it much earlier; I could have made better decisions, been more available to others and achieved my highest potential in both my career and personal life.

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17US ME: Legalization of Marijuana a Hot Topic at Augusta TradeSun, 05 Jun 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Whittle, Patrick Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:06/05/2016

Home Grown Maine 2016 is happening about five months before residents will vote on whether to make recreational use of marijuana legal in the state.

(AP) - The debate over whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine will take center stage at an event that bills itself as New England's largest cannabis trade show.

Home Grown Maine 2016, a major event for growers, vendors and patients of medical marijuana, is taking place at the Augusta Civic Center in Maine's capital city on Saturday and Sunday. The trade show is happening about five months before residents will vote on whether to make recreational use of marijuana legal in the state.

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18US ME: OPED: Pot Issue Entails Uncertainties Aplenty onThu, 19 May 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Kilmer, Beau Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:05/20/2016

One thing is a fairly safe bet: If we legalize and allow for-profit companies to produce, sell and advertise marijuana, use will likely increase.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether to legalize the large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives.

You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.

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19US ME: Impaired-driving Summit To Focus On MarijuanaMon, 16 May 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Graham, Gillian Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:05/16/2016

Experts and law enforcement officers will gather to discuss ways to improve highway safety as Maine considers legal marijuana.

Experts and law enforcement officers will gather Monday in Portland to discuss how to improve highway safety as more drivers get behind the wheel after using marijuana and other drugs.

The impaired-driving summit, sponsored by AAA Northern New England and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, will focus on new research and approaches to deal with drivers who are under the influence. With the prospect of marijuana legalization in the state, the summit will focus largely on cannabis-impaired driving, according to organizers.

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20 US ME: Maine Judge Revives Referendum To Legalize MarijuanaSat, 09 Apr 2016
Source:Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH) Author:Sharp, David Area:Maine Lines:58 Added:04/12/2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A judge on Friday gave a victory to supporters of a referendum aimed at legalizing marijuana by overruling a decision by election officials to reject thousands of signatures.

The same judge who upheld Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's decision to reject a casino referendum proposal because of invalid signatures on Thursday revived the campaign to put the proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use on the November ballot.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol disputed Dunlap's rejection of 26,779 signatures because the signature of the notary didn't match the signature on file.

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21 US ME: Young Advocate For Medical MarijuanaFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL)          Area:Maine Lines:30 Added:03/18/2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A 13-year-old medical marijuana advocate who moved from Connecticut to Maine so she could access cannabis to treat a rare form of epilepsy has died.

Two medical marijuana advocacy groups say Cyndimae Meehan died Sunday in her family's Augusta home. She had a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.

Her mother moved her to Maine to access medical marijuana after failed attempts to treat the girl's frequent seizures using federally approved drugs. Connecticut doesn't allow pediatric medical marijuana use.

A family friend and medical marijuana advocate says Cyndimae regained her strength and stopped using a wheelchair once she began taking cannabis oil. The family became medical marijuana advocates, often testifying on state medical marijuana bills.

The family is planning a funeral in Connecticut.


22 US ME: Chief Justice Calls for Reforms to Address Drug CrisisThu, 10 Mar 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:23 Added:03/10/2016

(AP) - Chief Justice Leigh Saufley says Maine's growing heroin and opiate crisis requires sweeping changes to Maine's criminal justice system. Saufley, in her annual address to the Legislature, warned on Wednesday that the "relentless influx" of new criminal cases could overwhelm the court system. She said the number of sentences for serious drug crimes jumped from 1,300 in 2013 to nearly 1,800 in 2015. Saufley said the courts need more sentencing options, and the state needs more programs for addicts, both before they are charged with a crime and after they leave prison. She also called for more drug treatment housing for youths and adults. She said addicts who leave prison also need more treatment housing options.


23 US ME: PUB LTE: Opioid Overdoses Topic At Falmouth DiscussionFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Weber, Patty Area:Maine Lines:33 Added:02/13/2016

Every day, an average of more than 80 Americans die from opioid overdoses. The number of Maine residents seeking treatment for opiate abuse has tripled since 2010, and the number of babies born affected by prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol increased by 68 percent between 2010 and 2014.

The National Council of Jewish Women is hosting a panel discussion on this subject from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Falmouth Public Library, 5 Lunt Road.

The event will be open to the public, and featured guests will be Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck; Oliver Bradeen, the Portland Police Department's substance abuse disorder liaison; and the Rev. Alice Hildebrand, head of the bereavement team at Maine Medical Center.

For more information, call 781-2351.

Patty Weber



24 US ME: LTE: Think About the Awful Consequences of LegalizingFri, 05 Feb 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Cunningham, Robert Area:Maine Lines:62 Added:02/07/2016

I was watching the news last night with my son. One segment in particular that struck a nerve with me was the debate on the legalization of marijuana. They had several individuals speaking on how they've acquired over 100,000 signatures on petitions backing a statewide vote on legalization.

This referendum may actually pass, making this now-illegal and dangerous drug available to everyone. What is troubling to me is the effort everyone seems to be putting forward for a "high."

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25US ME: Winslow Schools Approve Medical Marijuana PolicyThu, 28 Jan 2016
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:McGuire, Peter Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:02/02/2016

Waterville and Vassalboro school boards also will vote on the policy to allow a caregiver to administer medical marijuana to students at school.

Winslow, Waterville and Vassalboro schools are enacting policies to allow students to use medical marijuana in school as districts across the state move to comply with a state law passed last year that allows the practice.

The Winslow School Board on Monday voted to approve a policy that allows a parent or legal guardian considered a primary caregiver under Maine's medical marijuana laws to administer marijuana on school grounds to a student certified to use the drug.

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26 US ME: OPED: Why Marijuana Prohibition Is PointlessWed, 23 Sep 2015
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Callahan, Patricia Area:Maine Lines:97 Added:09/26/2015

I've wanted to write a post about demonizing marijuana use for a while, but my views are controversial, so I've kept them to myself. I've written quite a bit about our state's addiction epidemic, though, and I'm beginning to feel disingenuous about ignoring the marijuana debate as a piece of that story. As I read about Bangor Public Health's forum on the "pitfalls of legalization of recreational marijuana," my conscience tugged at my fingers.

You see, I am a lot more concerned about the pitfalls of not legalizing and have been for years.

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27 US ME: Conflict Between Maine Pro-Pot Groups Spreads to theTue, 18 Aug 2015
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Flisiuk, Francis Area:Maine Lines:213 Added:08/19/2015

PORTLAND, Maine - The conflict between two groups seeking to place recreational marijuana legalization questions on the 2016 state ballot continues to deepen as signature-gatherers take to the streets.

After months of negotiations - which the leader of one of the groups characterized as a sham - failed to achieve a compromise, animosity between Legalize Maine and the Marijuana Policy Project made its way to the streets and storefronts of Portland, as the two organizations each work to gather more than 60,000 signatures required to place their questions on the November 2016 ballot.

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28 US ME: OPED: 5 Myths About MarijuanaTue, 18 Aug 2015
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Comstock, Jamie Area:Maine Lines:114 Added:08/19/2015

By Jamie Comstock, Special to the BDN Posted Aug. 17, 2015, at 8:50 p.m.

Let's break down some myths about marijuana:

Myth 1: Marijuana use is harmless. Today's marijuana is far more potent than the plant of the past.

New strains are being crossbred to produce higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol "" the chemical responsible for marijuana's effects "" than ever before, with some reaching 20 to 30 percent THC (as compared with the average 1 percent THC in the 1970s).

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29US ME: Hepatitis C Cases Exploding in U.S.Sat, 08 Aug 2015
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Whittle, Patrick Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2015

Experts Blame It in Part on Surge of Heroin Use

MACHIAS, Maine (AP) - Public health agencies and drug treatment centers nationwide are scrambling to battle an explosive increase in cases of hepatitis C, a scourge they believe stems at least in part from a surge in intravenous heroin use.

In response, authorities are instituting or considering needle exchange programs but are often stymied by geography - many cases are in rural areas - and the cost of treatment in tight times.

In Washington County, at the nation's eastern edge, the rate of the acute form of hepatitis C last year was the highest in a state that was already more than triple the national average. The problem, health officials there agree, is spurred by the surge in the use of heroin and other injectable drugs and the sharing of needles to get high.

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30 US ME: Permit For Marijuana Farmers Market DeniedWed, 22 Jul 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:22 Added:07/22/2015

Portland (AP) - Portland's City Council is denying a permit to a group that wanted to hold a marijuana farmers market in a public park. The Portland Press Herald reported that the council voted 5 to 4 against granting the permit on Monday. The councilors previously granted New World Organics of Belfast permission to hold the New England Cannabis Farmers Market in Deering Oaks. Council members said they revisited the issue after hearing advertising for the event, which they said suggested marijuana would be available for use. Event organizer Justin Olsen said the market is designed to be a networking event and "not a place for people to smoke."


31 US ME: National Group Outraises Maine Effort in MarijuanaTue, 21 Jul 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:28 Added:07/21/2015

A nationally-backed campaign to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Maine is raising more money than a local effort that has the same goal.

Maine campaign finance reports say the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has raised $104,166 this year. The filings also say the group raised $53,011 during the quarter that ended June 30.

The group is backed by the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which donated $50,000 to the campaign in June.

Filings say local group Legalize Maine raised $25,290 during the same quarter. The group has raised $55,575 this year.

Both groups are asking residents if the question of legalization should be on the ballot in 2016.


32 US ME: Committee Rejects Bill Legalizing MarijuanaSat, 30 May 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:23 Added:05/30/2015

(AP) - A legislative committee has voted to reject a bill seeking to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine, but supporters say the real fight will be on the House floor. Democratic state Representative Diane Russell's bill was rejected Thursday by the criminal justice committee and would have allowed people 21 and older to have as much as one ounce of pot. It would also set a 10 percent tax rate on marijuana sales, The Press Herald reported. The tax revenues would go to public school construction, substance abuse programs, drug and alcohol awareness among youth, and regulation. Under a compromise unveiled Thursday, the bill would allow up to 45 marijuana retail stores around the state.


33 US ME: Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana In SchoolsSat, 16 May 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:23 Added:05/17/2015

A Maine legislative committee says schoolchildren should be allowed to take prescribed marijuana on school grounds if a parent or guardian administers it on campus. The Portland Press Herald reported that the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs approved the legislation on Thursday. The rule means school nurses and personnel will not be responsible for storing or administering marijuana. A parent, guardian, or caregiver would have to come to campus to administer it. The bill is going to the full state Legislature for consideration. The bill says the drug cannot be smoked and must be taken in some other form such as an oil, edible substance, or pill. (AP)


34 US ME: PUB LTE: End The Drug WarWed, 13 May 2015
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Maine Lines:40 Added:05/13/2015

Regarding Scott Gagnon's May 7 BDN blog post, the drug war is a cure worse than the disease. Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society as a whole does, too.

Incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in criminal behavior. Prisons transmit violent habits rather than reduce them.

Nonviolent drug offenders are eventually released, with dismal job prospects because of criminal records. Turning drug users into unemployable ex-cons is a senseless waste of tax dollars.

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35 US ME: OPED: A Path To Wellness, Not A Jail CellFri, 08 May 2015
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Gagnon, Scott Area:Maine Lines:86 Added:05/09/2015

This Friday at the State House, the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will have a work session on LD 113, An Act to Reduce the Penalties for Certain Drug Offenses. The bill is sponsored by Senator Roger Katz of Kennebec. The bill, in part, looks to downgrade punishments associated with possession of heroin and methamphetamine, two drugs that have been especially problematic in Maine. The bill would downgrade possession of these Class W drugs from a Class C Felony crime to a Class D Misdemeanor crime.

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36 US ME: Patients Want Hospitals To Allow Marijuana UseTue, 28 Apr 2015
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:23 Added:04/28/2015

(AP) - Medical marijuana patients in Maine are urging state lawmakers to allow use of smokeless forms of the drug in hospitals. Patients, their caregivers, and dispensary representatives told lawmakers Monday that many patients are denied the drug or have to use it discreetly because most hospitals do not allow it. The bill is getting pushback from hospital officials and doctors, the Portland Press Herald reported. They say they could lose federal funding if they allow medical marijuana. Samantha Brown told lawmakers that her 3-year-old daughter uses marijuana to treat seizures but has been denied access to it during hospital visits. Brown said that left her in the "uncomfortable position" of having to use it covertly.


37 US ME: Medical Marijuana Users Rent Downtown Bangor Space toMon, 15 Dec 2014
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Ricker, Nok-Noi Area:Maine Lines:148 Added:12/20/2014

BANGOR, Maine - A local group of medical marijuana patients is renting a space downtown where they can smoke or ingest their medicine.

A group calling itself the 13 Owls Club is renting on an hourly basis the VIP smoking area above the recently expanded hookah lounge run by the Herbal Tea & Tobacco shop in the heart of the city, Herbal Tea owner Christopher Ruhlin said during a recent interview.

"We have doctors, lawyers and architects, and these people depend on a discreet, professional environment," said Ruhlin, adding that he is a medical marijuana patient advocate and a member of the club.

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38 US ME: Bangor Medical Marijuana Users Can Rent Smoking RoomsMon, 15 Dec 2014
Source:Lewiston Sun Journal (ME) Author:Ricker, Nok-Noi Area:Maine Lines:148 Added:12/20/2014

BANGOR - A local group of medical marijuana patients is renting a space downtown where they can smoke or ingest their medicine.

A group calling itself the 13 Owls Club is renting on an hourly basis the VIP smoking area above the recently expanded hookah lounge run by the Herbal Tea & Tobacco shop in the heart of the city, Herbal Tea owner Christopher Ruhlin said during a recent interview.

"We have doctors, lawyers and architects, and these people depend on a discreet, professional environment," said Ruhlin, adding that he is a medical marijuana patient advocate and a member of the club.

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39 US ME: OPED: Legalization Isn't Inevitable: Maine Has MoreTue, 25 Nov 2014
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Gagnon, Scott Area:Maine Lines:96 Added:11/26/2014

Last week saw the launch of a second initiative to put a question on the 2016 Maine ballot to legalize recreational marijuana. This effort would run alongside the stated intent of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project to gather signatures and also put a question on the 2016 ballot.

Some media outlets are framing this as Mainers having two choices for legalizing marijuana in Maine. But the truth of the matter is they will have three choices on how marijuana policy moves forward in Maine. A third choice will be to reject marijuana legalization of both varieties and move forward with a public health-oriented approach that doesn't create a third legalized drug.

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40 US ME: Pro-Marijuana Groups Eye Northeastern StatesMon, 24 Nov 2014
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Whittle, Patrick Area:Maine Lines:87 Added:11/25/2014

South Portland, Maine (AP) - Marijuana advocates want to finally take their legalization drive - so far the province of Western states - to the Northeast, and they say the first state to do it here might be Maine.

The Pine Tree State has a long history with cannabis - Maine voters approved medical marijuana legalization 15 years ago, becoming the first New England state to do so. Now, national marijuana advocates say, the state represents a chance for pro-marijuana forces to get a toehold in the Northeastern states they have long coveted.

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41 US ME: Group Unveils Marijuana Legalization PlanThu, 20 Nov 2014
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:22 Added:11/21/2014

AUGUSTA, MAINE (AP) - A group that wants to legalize recreational marijuana is beginning its push to put the measure before Maine voters in 2016. Legalize Maine, a newly formed political action committee, is calling its plan "a home-grown effort" to legalize marijuana in Maine. The group's organizer, Paul McCarrier, said Wednesday that its proposal can help revive Maine's economy. McCarrier's group wants to tax marijuana at 8 percent, the same as prepared food, lodging, and liquor. It also wants to create marijuana social clubs. The effort is separate from another push to legalize marijuana in the state.


42 US ME: Paul LePage Toes Hard Line On Drug CrisisMon, 07 Jul 2014
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:MacQuarrie, Brian Area:Maine Lines:181 Added:07/09/2014

Supports Enforcing Laws Over Treatment Options

LEWISTON, Maine - When Massachusetts' governor invited his New England counterparts to a meeting last month on the surge in opioid overdoses, the only no-show was Governor Paul LePage of Maine.

Governor Deval Patrick urged reporters after the meeting not to read anything into LePage's absence. It's just a scheduling problem, he said.

But LePage's press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, had a different take: The governor felt staying in Maine to talk with veterans and release crime statistics was "a higher priority than a photo-op with other New England governors," Bennett said.

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43 US ME: OPED: America's Stupidest Criminal LawsFri, 27 Jun 2014
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Blanks, Jonathan Area:Maine Lines:114 Added:06/28/2014

Imagine this: Two defendants, same age, smoke joints with some friends one July evening in their apartments. Neither has a criminal record. Both get caught; one faces an extra two years in jail.

Why? Because he shared drugs within a certain number of feet from a school that's been out for a month.

The so-called "Drug Free School Zone" is one of many laws that create extra penalties for already illegal acts with no reasonable tie to the public's safety or the defendant's particular circumstances.

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44 US ME: PUB LTE: It Takes Whole Marijuana Plant to Save GirlSat, 29 Mar 2014
Source:Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME) Author:Meehan, Susan W. Area:Maine Lines:46 Added:04/02/2014

L.D. 1739, "An Act To Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act," was returned to the Legislature's Committee on Health and Human Services on Feb. 11, after parents and patients expressed concern with the language about "kief" as well as other concerns.

I know our legislators in Maine's House and Senate have no ill intent toward our children, but they are being misled. This committee has completed its review. Committee members report that the proposal now references Maine's Criminal Code in regard to "hashish," and now directly prohibits the use of hashish. By the referenced Maine Criminal Law Code, hashish is defined to include marijuana extracts. With the change of words from "kief" to "hashish," and this reference to Maine's Criminal Code, the law effectively bans my daughter's medication.

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45 US ME: PUB LTE: Medical Cannabis Plays Role in Less Use ofTue, 18 Mar 2014
Source:Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME) Author:Peterson, Glenn Area:Maine Lines:43 Added:03/20/2014

Last week, the media reported about the precipitous and unexpected decline of MaineCare patients receiving prescription opiates for pain management (Bangor Daily News, Feb. 27).

As an operator of Canuvo, in Biddeford, one of the eight dispensaries participating in the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, and as president of the Maine Association of Dispensary Operators, I believe there is another piece to this story.

A great many of the patients benefiting from medical cannabis are enrolled in MaineCare. Even though MaineCare doesn't cover the cost of this medicine, many of these patients come to us seeking an alternative to the prescription opiates they've used for pain.

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46US ME: Marijuana Groups Endorse BellowsWed, 19 Feb 2014
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Miller, Kevin Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2014

The Democratic Senate Candidate Has Been a Supporter of Legalization

WASHINGTON - Shenna Bellows, the Maine Democrat challenging Republican Sen. Susan Collins in this November's election, received endorsements on Wednesday from two organizations pushing to legalize marijuana at the state and federal levels.

Bellows, who supports legalization and regulating marijuana more like alcohol, received the endorsements from the political action committees of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) as well as the Marijuana Policy Project. A bill has been introduced in the current Congress to legalize marijuana but is unlikely to pass.

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47 US ME: Tourette Patient Denied MarijuanaFri, 27 Dec 2013
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Maine Lines:28 Added:12/27/2013

Maine public health officials have denied an Ellsworth man's request to use marijuana legally to treat Tourette syndrome.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services this week denied a request by the man's doctor, Dustin Sulak, to add Tourette syndrome to the list of medical conditions that qualify for treatment with marijuana. Sulak said a denial letter signed by agency Commissioner Mary Mayhew arrived on Christmas Eve without any explanation for the decision.

Sulak and his patient, Peter Hasty, had testified in November that marijuana helped Hasty's muscular tics caused by Tourette.

Hasty said marijuana allows him to function in society.

Studies looking at the effectiveness of marijuana to treat Tourette are inconclusive.


48 US ME: Pot Emerges As New Focus For Groups Fighting TeenThu, 26 Dec 2013
Source:Bangor Daily News (ME) Author:Lynds, Jen Area:Maine Lines:88 Added:12/27/2013

FORT KENT, Maine - Earlier this month, the possession of marijuana for nonmedical use became legal in Portland. This, and other sporadic discussions about marijuana legalization in Maine, has shifted the focus of an Aroostook County-based organization that works to curb substance abuse among young people.

Now, besides teaching youth about the dangers of drunk driving, they are paying more attention to how marijuana can impair motorists when they get behind the wheel.

Michelle Plourde Chasse, Community Voices project manager, said in the past, Community Voices and similar groups have focused on alcohol when talking about impaired driving prevention over the past two or three decades.

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49US ME: OPED: No Shortage of Deserving Candidates forWed, 25 Dec 2013
Source:Portland Press Herald (ME) Author:Olson, Walter Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2013

Rigid Drug Sentences Alone Account for Far Too Many Inmates WHO've Been Held for Far Too Long.

WASHINGTON - In the same news cycle when Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would free more than 20,000 inmates from his country's prisons, President Obama announced a rather less grand gesture of clemency. He commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of crack-cocaine offenses all of whom have served at least 15 years and used his pardon power to erase the criminal records of 13 miscellaneous ex-offenders.

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50US ME: Portland, Champion Of TemperanceSun, 22 Dec 2013
Source:Maine Sunday Telegram (ME) Author:Mills, Paul Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:12/23/2013

How a City That Just Enacted the East Coast's First Marijuana Legalization Law Was Once at the Forefront of the Nation'S Prohibition Movement.

The Portland city ordinance purporting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana took effect earlier this month the first in the eastern United States. Seeing Portland take the lead in a loosening-up of drug laws arouses a sense of irony in that the city was once in the vanguard of enacting the country's first laws outlawing liquor, boasting prominent Prohibition leaders in America. A complete turnabout in the city's mindset has not, however, necessarily occurred, as the story of these two early Portland temperance advocates illustrates.

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