Following in the footsteps of Nevada, California, and Massachusetts last year, Maine has also legalized the use and possession of marijuana. The decision has been a long time coming for residents of the ‘pine tree state,’ as the wait was the longest for Maine, between the passing of the bill and the actual legalization date.
Maine’s Marijuana Possession Allowance
The maximum amount that an individual can regularly possess, according to the ruling, is two and a half ounces, plus six each of flowering and immature plants. The number of seedlings that can be possessed is unlimited.
Additionally, legal adults who grow and cultivate marijuana will be allowed to profit from the sale of said plant and also keep the profits at their place of residence, as long as the amount grown is under the legal limit.
Government Based Opposition
Although it is now official, the ruling and indeed the issue of legalization itself is not without opposition. The staunchest opposition comes from Governor Paul LePage, who not only ran a campaign against it but also stated that the voters in favor of it had limited understanding of the issue.
The governor went as far as to sign a ruling moratorium, pushing for the overseeing of the marijuana trade by the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. This was instead of the Department of Agriculture, as was originally planned.
Benefits of the Legalization for Maine Residents
The residents of Maine, thanks to the legalization of marijuana, will now enjoy a spike in economic growth, as well as employment opportunities, as the industry finds stable ground in the ‘pine tree state.’ Tax revenues that the state generates will also see a rapid increase, which will then bolster social services spending, allowing for more funds to be allocated towards public welfare.
In addition to that, Maine will see a drastic reduction, if not complete elimination, in marijuana-related arrests and charged criminal offenses. This decrease in arrests will save the state huge sums in processing charges and other related costs.
The legalization of marijuana in Maine makes state residents part of the now sixty-eight million US citizens who are currently living under legalization laws. This makes up more than one-fifth of the total population of the United States, and if similar success continues to be achieved on a larger scale, advocates hope that the country itself may one day see legalization as well.
Although there was a significant number of efforts made across the country to stop the legalization of this relatively harmless substance, it seems that for now, the steps towards national prosperity continue to gain momentum for the better.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]