January 30 was “Marijuana Monday” for Residents of Maine

January 30 was “Marijuana Monday” for Residents of Maine
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On January 30, Maine joined 7 other states and the District of Columbia, which have all legalized marijuana for recreational use. [1]

The journey to legalization was rough at times, beginning with 2 competing initiatives and a legal challenge to getting the referendum question on the November ballot. After a close vote (3,995 votes) made it legal to use weed in the state, opponents requested a recount that ended with no change in the outcome.

But now residents of the state may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, gift it to others, and grow it legally in their homes. People can toke in a nonpublic space or private home. It is still illegal to sell marijuana in Maine. [1] [2]

Marijuana purchases will be taxed at 10%, and 98% of that revenue will go to a general fund. [2]

Said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot question:

“It’s huge. No longer will we be punishing adults for using a safer substance than alcohol. We’re not making criminals out of thousands of Mainers who choose to use marijuana.” [3]

Read: Marijuana Taxes Fund Scholarships for 1st Time in Colorado

Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, residents in possession of pot are not allowed to purchase a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer.

The state Legislature has been busily working on the rules governing businesses that will sell marijuana, such as retail stores and social clubs. Since the rules will take several months to hammer out, it will be months before marijuana businesses open in the state. In fact, lawmakers on January 26 unanimously approved legislation delaying the retail sale of marijuana until February 2018. [2] [3]

Source: NORML

Some cities and towns are toying with the idea of moratoriums on the establishment of marijuana businesses, with a few approving temporary bans. Many local officials say they are reluctant to issue marijuana licenses until the state rules have been firmly established. [2]

Medical marijuana is currently legal in:

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Hawaii
  • Michigan

People can legally use weed for medical and recreational purposes in:

  • California
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Alaska
  • The District of Columbia
  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Maine

Sources:

[1] Portland Press Herald

[2] CNN

[3] Business Insider

NORML