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Maine Medical Marijuana Laws

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medical marijuana states | Maine



[size=12]SUMMARY: Sixty-one percent of voters approved Question 2 on November 2, 1999. The law took effect on December 22, 1999. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess an oral or written "professional opinion" from their physician that he or she "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea or vomiting as a result of AIDS or cancer chemotherapy. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one and one-quarter ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. Those patients who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law are afforded a "simple defense" to a charge of marijuana possession. The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.
AMENDMENTS: Yes. Senate Bill 611, which was signed into law on April 2, 2002, increases the amount of useable marijuana a person may possess from one and one-quarter ounces to two and one-half ounces.

medical marijuana states | Maine


CONTACT INFORMATION: Brochures outlining Maine’s medical marijuana law are available from:

Mainers for Medical Rights
P.O. Box 746
Gorham, ME 04084
(800) 846-1039




Title 22: HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtitle 2: HEALTH
Part 5: FOODS AND DRUGS
Chapter 558: MARIJUANA, SCHEDULED DRUGS, IMITATION SCHEDULED DRUGS AND HYPODERMIC APPARATUSES (HEADING: PL 1989, c. 384, @7 (rpr); PL 1997, c. 340, @4 (rpr))

§2383-B. Authorized possession by individuals; exemptions

1. Lawfully prescribed drugs. A person to whom or for whose use any scheduled drug, prescription drug or controlled substance has been prescribed, sold or dispensed for a legitimate medical purpose by a physician, dentist, podiatrist, pharmacist or other person acting in the usual course of professional practice and authorized by law or rule to do so and the owner or the person having the custody or control of any animal for which any scheduled drug, prescription drug or controlled substance has been prescribed, sold or dispensed for a legitimate veterinary medical purpose by a licensed veterinarian acting in the usual course of professional veterinary practice may lawfully possess the drug or substance, except when in use, only in the container in which it was delivered by the person selling or dispensing the drug or substance. For purposes of this subsection, "when in use" includes reasonable repackaging for more convenient legitimate medical use. [2005, c. 252, §2 (amd).]

2. Others lawfully in possession. Except as otherwise authorized or restricted, the following persons are authorized to possess, furnish and have control of scheduled or prescription drugs, controlled substances or hypodermic apparatuses:

A. Common carriers or warehouse operators while engaged in lawfully transporting or storing prescription drugs or hypodermic apparatuses or any of their employees acting within the scope of their employment; [1997, c. 340, §5 (amd).]


B. Employees or agents of persons lawfully entitled to possession who have temporary, incidental possession while acting within the scope of their employment or agency; [1995, c. 499, §3 (amd); §5 (aff).]


C. Persons whose possession is for the purpose of aiding public officers in performing their official duties while acting within the scope of their employment or duties; [1995, c. 499, §3 (amd); §5 (aff).]


D. Law enforcement officers while acting within the scope of their employment and official duties; [1997, c. 340, §5 (amd).]


E. Physicians, dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists or other persons authorized by law or rule to administer, dispense, prescribe or sell scheduled or prescription drugs, controlled substances or hypodermic apparatuses while acting within the course of their professional practice; and [1997, c. 340, §5 (amd).]


F. With regard to the possession or furnishing of hypodermic apparatuses, persons authorized by the Bureau of Health pursuant to a hypodermic apparatus exchange program, certified under chapter 252-A while acting within the scope of their employment under such programs. [1997, c. 340, §5 (new).]

[1997, c. 340, §5 (amd).]

3. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. "Controlled substances" has the same meaning as defined in 21 United States Code, Section 812 (1970) and 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter II, Part 1308. [1995, c. 499, §3 (new); §5 (aff).]


A-1. "Designated care giver" means a person over 18 years of age who:
(1) Is a family member or other person who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health or safety of a person authorized to possess marijuana for medical use pursuant to subsection 5, paragraph A or B or who is a member of the same household as a person authorized to possess marijuana for medical use pursuant to subsection 5, paragraph A or B; and

(2) Is named in a written individual instruction or power of attorney for health care as defined in Title 18-A, section 5-801 by, or is the parent or legal guardian of, a person authorized to possess marijuana for medical use pursuant to subsection 5.
[2001, c. 580, §1 (amd).]


A-2. "Eligible patient" means a person authorized to possess marijuana for medical use pursuant to subsection 5. [IB 1999, c. 1, §7 (new).]


B. "Law enforcement officer" has the same meaning as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 17. [1995, c. 499, §3 (new); §5 (aff).]


B-1. "Physician" means a person licensed as an osteopathic physician by the Board of Osteopathic Licensure pursuant to Title 32, chapter 36 or a person licensed as a physician or surgeon by the Board of Licensure in Medicine pursuant to Title 32, chapter 48. [IB 1999, c. 1, §8 (new).]


C. "Prescription drugs" has the same meaning as defined in Title 32, section 13702, subsection 24 and includes so-called legend drugs. [1995, c. 499, §3 (new); §5 (aff).]


D. "Scheduled drug" has the same meaning as defined in Title 17-A, chapter 45. [1995, c. 499, §3 (new); §5 (aff).]


E. "Usable amount of marijuana for medical use" means 2 1/2 ounces or less of harvested marijuana and a total of 6 plants, of which no more than 3 may be mature, flowering plants. [2001, c. 580, §2 (amd).]

[2001, c. 580, §§1, 2 (amd).]

4. Specially restricted drugs and substances. [1995, c. 621, §3 (rp).]

5. Medical use of marijuana; exemptions. The following provisions govern the medical use of marijuana.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is at least 18 years of age may lawfully possess a usable amount of marijuana for medical use if, at the time of that possession, the person has available an authenticated copy of a medical record or other written documentation from a physician, demonstrating that:
(1) The person has been diagnosed by a physician as suffering from one or more of the following conditions:
(a) Persistent nausea, vomiting, wasting syndrome or loss of appetite as a result of:
(i) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or the treatment thereof; or

(ii) Chemotherapy or radiation therapy used to treat cancer;


(b) Heightened intraocular pressure as a result of glaucoma;

(c) Seizures associated with a chronic, debilitating disease, such as epilepsy; or

(d) Persistent muscle spasms associated with a chronic, debilitating disease, such as multiple sclerosis;


(2) A physician, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the person:
(a) Has discussed with the person the possible health risks and therapeutic or palliative benefits of the medical use of marijuana to relieve pain or alleviate symptoms of the person's condition, based on information known to the physician, including, but not limited to, clinical studies or anecdotal evidence reported in medical literature or observations or information concerning the use of marijuana by other patients with the same or similar conditions;

(b) Has provided the person with the physician's professional opinion concerning the possible balance of risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana to relieve pain or alleviate symptoms in the person's particular case; and

(c) Has advised the person, on the basis of the physician's knowledge of the person's medical history and condition, that the person might benefit from the medical use of marijuana to relieve pain or alleviate symptoms of the person's condition;


(3) The person has disclosed to the physician that person's medical use of marijuana; and

(4) The person is under the continuing care of the physician.
[IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


B. A person under 18 years of age may lawfully possess a usable amount of marijuana for medical use if:
(1) The person meets the requirements of paragraph A, subparagraphs (1) to (4); and

(2) The person:
(a) Has available a signed written authorization from that person's parent or legal guardian consenting to that person's medical use of marijuana; or

(b) Is a minor who is entitled to give consent to all medical and other health care services pursuant to Title 22, section 1503.

[IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a designated care giver may lawfully possess a usable amount of marijuana for medical use by an eligible patient if the designated care giver is acting within the scope of the designated care giver's duties to the eligible patient. [IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


D. The fact that a person produces documentation described in paragraph A does not constitute a waiver of the physician-patient privilege in any other respect. [IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


E. A physician who, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, advises a patient that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana may not be deemed to have violated any provision of Title 32, section 2591-A, subsection 2 or section 3282-A, subsection 2. [IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


F. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph A, medical use of marijuana by an eligible patient is not authorized by this section if such use occurs in a public place or in a workplace where such use is not permitted. [IB 1999, c. 1, §10 (new).]


G. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession, use or cultivation of a usable amount of marijuana under section 2383, Title 15, section 3103 or Title 17-A, chapter 45 that the defendant was an eligible patient under this subsection. [2001, c. 580, §3 (new).]


H. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession, possession with the intent to furnish, furnishing or cultivation of a usable amount of marijuana under section 2383, Title 15, section 3103 or Title 17-A, chapter 45 that the defendant was a designated care giver under this subsection if the person to whom the marijuana was to be furnished or for whom it was cultivated was an eligible patient. [2001, c. 580, §3 (new).]

[2001, c. 580, §3 (amd).]

6. Lawful possession of hypodermic apparatuses by livestock owners. A person who owns livestock is authorized to possess and have control of hypodermic apparatuses for the purpose of administering antibiotics, vitamins and vaccines to treat medical conditions or promote the health of that person's livestock. For the purposes of this subsection, "livestock" means cattle, equines, sheep, goats, swine, members of the genus Lama, poultry, rabbits and cervids as defined in Title 7, section 1333, subsection 1. [2003, c. 386, §19 (amd).]