paul lepage

Maine: Prohibitionist Governor Vetoes Cannabis Regulation and Implementation Bill

Maine-Flag

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Friday, Gov. Paul LePage followed through on threats to veto legislation that would have started the process of implementing a regulated cannabis market that Maine voters called for when they approved Question 1 in 2016.

The progressive bill, LD 1650, which was supported overwhelmingly in the House and Senate, would have created rules for cultivation, processing, and retail establishments, as well as set tax rates for adult-use and delay cannabis social consumption lounges until summer 2019.

Maine: State Delays Recreational Cannabis Sales, Governor Urges Cannabis Crackdown

Maine Cannabis

Last November, ballot initiative Question 1 gave Maine lawmakers and regulators nine months to write the rules

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Maine won’t be able to meet its February deadline to allow recreational cannabis sales, according to state officials.

Republican State Sen. Roger Katz said the agencies responsible for the recreational market rollout don’t have sufficient time before the deadline to perform such tasks as licensing growers, writing departmental rules and hiring new inspectors.

Last Month, Gov. Paul LePage stated he wished the Maine Legislature had repealed the referendum-passed law legalizing recreational cannabis use.

U.S.: State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Political leaders in several states are acting to challenge election results regarding regulation of marijuana.

"Voters spoke clearly on election day. They believe that cannabis should be legal and that its sale ought to be regulated accordingly," said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. "Politicians should respect these outcomes, not undermine them."

Massachusetts voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent to legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Lawmakers are trying to move the date on which adults can begin growing marijuana from December 15, 2016 to an unspecified later time. They also want to delay retail sales of pot until late 2018.

Although Maine voters narrowly approved a similar ballot measure, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said that he will seek federal guidance before moving forward with the law's implementation. Gov. LePage said that he "will be talking to Donald Trump" about how the incoming administration intends to address the issue, and said that he "will not put this (law) into play" unless the federal government signs off on it.

Maine: Governor LePage Warns Against 'Deadly' Marijuana In Over-the-top Video

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Maine Governor Paul LePage released a false and misleading video Thursday attempting to convince voters to vote "no" on "Question 1", the state's marijuana legalization referendum up for a vote on the upcoming ballot.

“Question 1 is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly,” LePage warns, before falsely claiming traffic fatalities have gone up in Colorado since the state legalized recreational pot.

He makes a claim that “people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” He predicts a future where children and pets die from accidentally consuming “marijuana snacks,” and in which drug culture impinges on “schools, daycare centers and churches.”

“They will smoke weed and sell pot at state fairs,” he adds. “Businesses could not fire employees for using marijuana.”

According to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana has had no noticeable effect on traffic deaths in either Colorado or Washington.

And marijuana has been proven to reduce opioid deaths. In the 23 states where medical marijuana was legal in 2014, there were nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from opioid overdoses, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Maine State Rep. Diane Russell (D) of Portland believes the video could actually help the campaign for legalization.

Connecticut, Maine: New Laws Permit Medical Marijuana In Hospitals

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New laws in Connecticut and Maine allow the use of medical marijuana formulations by patients who are hospitalized.

This week, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation, HB 5450, to protect nurses who administer medical marijuana to qualified patients in hospitals from any civil, criminal, or disciplinary action. Other provisions in the bill would expand access to medical marijuana to those under the age of 18 and seek to establish a state-sponsored research program.

Maine's Governor Paul LePage signed LD 426 into law recently which also protects hospital administrators and staff from civil or criminal liability if they permit qualified to use non-inhaled forms of medical marijuana in hospitals. The patients would not necessarily be provided or administered medical marijuana under the law, but could receive marijuana products from a third party.

Connecticut and Maine are the first states to specifically provide immunity to hospitals that permit patients to use medical marijuana.

Maine: Medical Marijuana Lobbyist Wins Dinner With Governor

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A political lobbyist for a medical marijuana trade group in Maine will be dining with Governor Paul LePage after making the winning bid at a benefit auction for a dinner for four with the governor.

Paul McCarrier, a lobbyist for Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, bid $1,000 at a Thursday auction to benefit the Legislative Memorial Scholarship Fund, report Steve Mistler and Michael Shepherd at the Portland Press Herald.

McCarrier told the Press Herald he wouldn't be lobbying Gov. LePage. He said he made the bid on behalf of a MMC group member who supports the governor and has been asking to get him a meeting with LePage.

The winning bid came in after others, including Democratic lawmakers, drove the bidding up to $875. When McCarrier bid $1,000, nobody made a counter bid.

"We were tempted to keep going," said Ericka Dodge, spokeswoman for the Senate Democrats," but we figured the marijuana folks deserved it."

"That's a whole scholarship," said Rep. Stacey Guerin (R-Glenblum), who ran the auction. Guerin said McCarrier "made quite a name for himself."

(Illustration: The Weed Blog)

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