Archive for September, 2013

Marijuana Helping to Grow Jobs in Maine

September 30th, 2013

For 27 year-old Paul McCarrier, selling marijuana pays the bills and grows his career. But McCarrier doesn’t meet clients on street corners or in dimly lit parking lots.

As a state-licensed caregiver, the Belfast, Maine, man runs a legal small business. His profession was created under Maine’s medical marijuana laws, which have grown increasingly beneficial for caregivers since the first measure was approved in 1999.

The number of licensed caregivers has grown to 600 — and that figure is expected to shoot higher after Tuesday, when new rules go into effect that will expand the number of health conditions that can legally be treated with medical mariijuana.

In 2009, the state passed an amendment that allows caregivers to serve up to five patients. The new law also removed provisions that restricted medical marijuana patients to those related to or living with the caregiver. The caregivers can own six flowering marijuana plants per patient, and can sell up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to patients every 15 days.

“We’ve created hundreds of jobs in Maine,” McCarrier said, although that fact likely won’t be touted by the Maine Chamber of Commerce or the state Office of Tourism.

The medical marijuana cottage industry co-exists alongside the eight state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. Although there’s no official record-keeping of patients, a dispensary official estimated that caregivers serve about 20 percent of the roughly 10,000 marijuana patients statewide.

While the word “caregiver” does not conjure up images of entrepreneurs, in many cases the work not only helps patients, but also provides an

Article source: http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/11182147/marijuana-helping-to-grow-jobs-in-maine

Growing pot becomes Maine cottage industry

September 30th, 2013

Posted:Today
Updated: 6:33 AM

Growing pot becomes Maine cottage industry

The state now has hundreds of small, legal businesses that grow medical marijuana — separate from dispensaries — and a new law may add to demand for them.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

For 27-year-old Paul McCarrier, selling marijuana pays the bills and grows his career.

Today’s poll: Medical marijuana

20130917_Providers

A York County caregiver named Frank displays buds from plants grown for use as medical marijuana. Caregivers also make brownies, chocolates and other pot products for patients.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Paul McCarrier of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine says his industry has created hundreds of jobs.

Kennebec Journal File Photo

Additional Photos Below

But McCarrier doesn’t meet clients on street corners or in dimly lit parking lots.

As a state-licensed caregiver, the Belfast man runs a legal small business. His profession was created under Maine’s medical marijuana laws, which have grown increasingly beneficial for caregivers since the first measure was approved in 1999.

The number of licensed caregivers has grown to 600 — and that figure is expected to shoot higher after Tuesday, when new rules go into effect that will expand the number of health conditions that can legally be treated with medical mariijuana.

In 2009, the state passed an amendment that allows caregivers to serve up to five patients. The

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/pot-as-a-cottage-industry_2013-09-30.html

Pot as a cottage industry

September 30th, 2013

1:00 AM

Pot as a cottage industry

Maine has hundreds of small, legal businesses that grow medical marijuana — separate from dispensaries — and a new law may add to demand for them.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

For 27-year-old Paul McCarrier, selling marijuana pays the bills and grows his career.

20130917_Providers

A York County caregiver named Frank displays buds from plants grown for use as medical marijuana. Caregivers also make brownies, chocolates and other pot products for patients.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Paul McCarrier of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine says his industry has created hundreds of jobs.

Kennebec Journal File Photo

Additional Photos Below

But McCarrier doesn’t meet clients on street corners or in dimly lit parking lots.

As a state-licensed caregiver, the Belfast man runs a legal small business. His profession was created under Maine’s medical marijuana laws, which have grown increasingly beneficial for caregivers since the first measure was approved in 1999.

The number of licensed caregivers has grown to 600 — and that figure is expected to shoot higher after Tuesday, when new rules go into effect that will expand the number of health conditions that can legally be treated with medical mariijuana.

In 2009, the state passed an amendment that allows caregivers to serve up to five patients. The new law also removed provisions that restricted medical marijuana patients to those related to or living with

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/pot-as-a-cottage-industry_2013-09-30.html

Maine Target For Marijuana Legalization

September 25th, 2013

Beginning next year, lawmakers in five states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland and Hawaii will take up bills to legalize marijuana. Alaska voters will have their say at the ballot box in August. And by 2016, voters in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California will join them. Rob Campia of the Marijuana Policy Project says these are all states where public support for legalization has been gauged at 50 percent or higher and where his group plans to actively campaign. He says he’s been galvanized by what has happened across the country in the past year.

Rob Campia says: “Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana. Vermont decriminalized marijuana. New Hampshire and Illiniois legalized medical marijuana and Oregon and Nevada improved their medical marijuana laws. All this happened in the last ten months so we’re very excited about the trajectory nationwide.”

Twenty states have now legalized medical marijuana and Campia says that has helped fertilize the ground for legalization efforts. So have changing demographics. While most people in their late 70s and 80s haven’t used marijuana, Campia says most people in their 20s have. Their grandparents and parents, who secretly smoked pot, were raised during an era when cannabis use was demonized and when the War on Drugs resulted in increased rates of incarceration. Even Campia, at the age of 43, has had his own run-in with the law.

Rob Campia says: “When I was

Article source: http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/5347/ItemId/30157/Default.aspx

Mass. man convicted in Auburn home invasion

September 25th, 2013

AUBURN, Maine — A Massachusetts man accused of invading a local home and beating three people, including a woman who jumped from a window with a broken jaw, was convicted for his role in the January incursion.

Kourtney Williams, 23, of Dorchester, Mass., and two other masked men forced their way into a second-floor apartment at 123 Winter St. at night, demanding money and medical marijuana from the three residents.

The three men, including Williams, pistol-whipped and punched the man and two women who lived at the apartment, then stole cash and marijuana, police said.

Brenda Henry suffered a broken jaw — fractured in three places — from the beating and an injured leg from the fall after she jumped from the window.

Williams was set to go to trial this week when he reached a plea deal with prosecutors on Friday.

He pleaded no contest to two felony charges of Class C aggravated assault, reduced from Class B. He also pleaded no contest to two charges of Class B robbery, reduced from Class A.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison on each of the four charges, but is allowed to serve them all at the same time, rather than one after the other.

An Androscoggin County grand jury had indicted Williams on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, burglary and reckless conduct, as well as misdemeanor counts of operating without a license, theft by unauthorized taking and leaving the scene.

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/24/news/lewiston-auburn/mass-man-convicted-in-auburn-home-invasion/?ref=polbeat

Maine State Housing Authority board stalls decision on whether to revoke …

September 25th, 2013

AUGUSTA, Maine — A lack of federal guidance on the use of medical marijuana in federally subsidized apartments led the Maine State Housing Authority board of commissioners on Tuesday to delay a decision on the issue for up to another year.

Commissioners and MaineHousing Director John Gallagher expressed deep frustration that despite repeated attempts to secure guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the past year, none has been given.

“We’ve asked for feedback by letter, email and directly to [HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan],” Gallagher told the board Tuesday morning in Augusta. “None is forthcoming. We’re still waiting for a response.”

At issue is whether to allow legal medical marijuana consumers who already receive housing vouchers through MaineHousing to use or cultivate marijuana in their homes under a law passed in Maine in 1999. The board voted in August 2012 to terminate vouchers for medical marijuana users, but then instituted two consecutive six-month moratoriums after protests from medical marijuana advocates. The second of those moratoriums would have expired next month if the board hadn’t extended it for another year on Tuesday.

According to Denise Lord, MaineHousing’s director of housing choice vouchers, there are approximately 3,800 Mainers receiving vouchers in the program, approximately 14 of whom are known medical marijuana patients. There also are approximately 30 local housing authorities that also are grappling with Maine law, which allows medical marijuana, and federal law, which doesn’t.

Most of those agencies, including MaineHousing, which administers the voucher program for municipalities that don’t

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/24/politics/maine-state-housing-authority-board-stalls-decision-on-whether-to-revoke-subsidies-for-medical-marijuana-users/

Living with addiction: After relapse and 3 suicide attempts, Maine man tries …

September 24th, 2013

LEWISTON, Maine — One day in June, Kenji Yamauchi stole $1,000 from his mother and bought just more than a gram of heroin — enough, he thought, to kill himself.

Only six months before, the 24-year-old had been clean for several months, determined and hopeful about his future as he told the Bangor Daily News of his years-long struggle with drugs.

But by February, Yamauchi had begun using again, and by June he found himself in a Portland homeless shelter, tired of the struggle and seemingly out of options.

“I just didn’t see another way out of it at the time,” he said recently. “I didn’t like where my life was going. … I just thought, ‘This is the rest of my life right here, living at the shelter, selling drugs to get by, waking up sick every morning because I don’t have drugs until a few hours after I wake up, eating at the soup kitchen every day.’ It was miserable.”

It was his third suicide attempt after years of drug use, which began with marijuana at age 13 and went on to include psychedelic mushrooms, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy and methamphetamines. He discovered Vicodin at age 16, he said, sold Ecstasy and psychedelics, and then at 18 shot heroin for the first time.

He sank deeper and deeper into addiction and watched friends die from it.

“Because of this addiction, I’ve lost nearly everything,” he said in December. “I lost a girl I love, every single material possession I had.”

Grateful today that doctors

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/24/health/living-with-addiction-after-relapse-and-3-suicide-attempts-maine-man-tries-new-path-to-recovery/

Lewiston man on long road from addiction

September 24th, 2013

LEWISTON — One day in June, Kenji Yamauchi stole $1,000 from his mother and bought just more than a gram of heroin — enough, he thought, to kill himself.

Only six months before, the 24-year-old had been clean for several months, determined and hopeful about his future as he told the Bangor Daily News of his years-long struggle with drugs.

But by February, Yamauchi had begun using again, and by June he found himself in a Portland homeless shelter, tired of the struggle and seemingly out of options.

“I just didn’t see another way out of it at the time,” he said recently. “I didn’t like where my life was going. … I just thought, ‘This is the rest of my life right here, living at the shelter, selling drugs to get by, waking up sick every morning because I don’t have drugs until a few hours after I wake up, eating at the soup kitchen every day.’ It was miserable.”

It was his third suicide attempt after years of drug use that began with marijuana at age 13 and went on to include psychedelic mushrooms, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy and methamphetamines. He discovered Vicodin at age 16, he said, sold Ecstasy and psychedelics, and then at 18 shot heroin for the first time.

He sank deeper and deeper into addiction and watched friends die from it.

“Because of this addiction, I’ve lost nearly everything,” he said in December. “I lost a girl I love, every single material possession I had.”

Grateful today that doctors at

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/node/1427448

Maine medical marijuana users fear loss of subsidized housing

September 24th, 2013

PORTLAND — Some medical marijuana patients may have to choose between their cannabis and their federally subsidized housing if a state moratorium is not renewed before its Oct. 1 deadline.

While state housing officials say it’s unlikely the deadline will pass without action, the prospect is still unnerving to those who may be affected.

“I’ll have to go back on my pain medications and anti-depressants. I’m in no position to move again. I’m 61 years old,” said Brooks resident and medical marijuana patient Joan, who asked that her last name not be used. “My life had no quality [before I started using cannabis]. I was in a daze with all the pain medications and antidepressants.”

The moratorium allows grandfathered medical marijuana patients to use, possess and grow cannabis while in federally subsidized housing properties. If it is not extended before it sunsets next Tuesday, those patients will have to stop taking the drug in Section 8 housing or have their federal rent subsidies cut off.

The Maine State Housing Authority board of commissioners is scheduled to consider another yearlong extension at its meeting Tuesday morning in Augusta, authority spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte said Monday.

Turcotte said only 12 of the approximately 3,850 state Section 8 housing voucher receivers in Maine would be affected by a moratorium lapse if it happens.

The board initially approved a policy disallowing all medical marijuana use, possession or cultivation at properties that are part of MaineHousing’s Housing Choice Voucher Program in September 2012. But a month after approving the measure, the board

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2013/09/24/maine-medical-marijuana-users-fear-loss-subsidized/1427334

Marijuana activist sees Maine following in Colorado’s footsteps

September 24th, 2013

September 24

Marijuana activist sees Maine following in Colorado’s footsteps

Rob Kampia, leader of the Marijuana Policy Project, says a key legalization vote will be in Portland this November.

By Randy Billings rbillings@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – The leader of a national group pushing to legalize marijuana around the country is in Maine this week to lay the groundwork for legalization efforts here.

Rob Kampia

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has made Maine one of 10 states in which the group is looking to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana use by people age 21 and older in 2016.

And it sees the possibility of a big step forward this November, when Portland voters will consider an ordinance that would remove all penalties for adult possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

“(Portland’s effort) starts the debate the same way Denver started the debate in Colorado,” said Rob Kampia, the group’s co-founder and executive director.

Colorado last year became one of two states to approve legalization, nearly eight years after Denver did it at the city level.

Kampia will spend three days in Maine, meeting with medical marijuana dispensary owners and caregivers, as well as media outlets, legislators and potential political donors in Portland, Augusta, Bangor and Down East.

In an interview with the Press Herald, he noted the similarities among legalization efforts in Maine and Colorado.

Maine is one of 16 U.S. states that have decriminalized marijuana possession, which means someone caught

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/marijuana-activist-sees-maine-following-colorado_2013-09-24.html