Archive for March, 2014

Over 40 Maine Lawmakers Sign Memo Urging Marijuana Legalization

March 21st, 2014

Marijuana – Positive Drug Tests not Associated with Elevated Risk of Workplace Accidents

EVANSVILLE, IN — Past use of cannabis, as identified by the presence of the inert carboxy THC metabolite on a standard urine test, is not…

Article source: http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/27701/40-maine-lawmakers-sign-memo-urging-consideration-marijuana-legalization/

Legalize pot in York? Advocacy group to make push

March 19th, 2014

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YORK, Maine — The national Marijuana Policy Project is targeting York as an area to potentially

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140319-NEWS-403190383

Legalize pot in York? State group to make push

March 19th, 2014

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document.getElementById(‘premiumMsg’).style.display = “block”;Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140319-NEWS-403190327

Fact and fiction about Maine’s drug-affected babies

March 18th, 2014

Maine’s increase in substance-exposed births has received a lot of coverage lately. Gov. Paul LePage unveiled his plan to address the issue last week. Much of the focus of recent coverage is related to Maine’s troubling opioid abuse rate, the highest in the nation. Opioids include prescription narcotic painkillers as well as heroin and its relatives.

We can solve this public health problem if we come together as a community and gain a greater understanding of the issue. First, let’s separate fact from fiction.

Fact: 927

There were 927 drug-affected baby notifications last year. Sadly, that is a fact. But the situation is more complex than a number.

What might have been reported as a drug-affected baby by one hospital might not have been reported as such by another.

The number 927 may include infants affected by alcohol, legally prescribed medications, marijuana and other illegal drugs. It may include infants of mothers who tell their physician they used marijuana or consumed alcohol before they knew they were pregnant. It may include infants of mothers taking legally prescribed medication under a doctor’s supervision to manage medical conditions.

Policy makers and providers are working together to clarify guidelines and make reporting consistent.

The 927 drug-affected births represent about 7 percent of Maine births in 2013. At Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, there were 308 substance-exposed infant reports in 2011, approximately 19 percent of births at EMMC that year. Of those, 173 included an opioid as at least one of the substances.

Fiction: drug-addicted babies

An

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/18/opinion/fact-and-fiction-about-maines-drug-affected-babies/?ref=OpinionBox

Medical marijuana caregivers to raise money for legal fees of Maine man who …

March 18th, 2014

ROCKLAND, Maine — A statewide medical marijuana caregivers association said it will hold a fundraiser at its annual trade show next month to help defray the legal costs for a member who unsuccessfully challenged the right of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to impose fees without legislative approval.

Paul McCarrier, the legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, said that in addition to Justice Andrew Horton siding last week with DHHS on its authority to impose fees, the state judge also ordered John Stewart of Washington to pay the state agency’s costs to defend itself against his suit.

On Monday, McCarrier criticized the ruling that Horton issued last week in Knox County Superior Court. McCarrier said there was clearly a conflict in state laws.

The Maine Administrative Procedure Act was approved by the Legislature in 1995 and prohibited state agencies from imposing fees unilaterally if there are no fee ranges or caps in any subsequent law. It stipulates that the setting of fees would be a major substantive rule that requires hearings and a legislative vote.

Horton ruled last week that the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, adopted by the Legislature, allows the fees to be set as routine technical rules, which does not require a more formal process that includes subsequent votes by the Legislature.

“The intent of the Legislature could not be clearer,” Horton ruled.

The marijuana law did not include ranges of fees or caps, Stewart

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/18/politics/medical-marijuana-caregivers-to-raise-money-for-legal-fees-of-maine-man-who-challenged-state/

Caregivers React to Ruling on Medical Marijuana Fees

March 17th, 2014

John Krinjak

Posted Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 5:59 pm.

Updated 3 hours ago

By

On Thursday, a state judge issued a ruling affecting medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, declaring that the Medical Marijuana Act allows the Department of Health and Human Services to impose fees on caregivers and dispensaries without having to go through a formal legislative procedure.

The ruling stems from a suit filed by caregiver John Stewart of Washington, Maine, that challenged the initial law charging caregivers a three hundred dollar per-patient fee.

“I feel cheated. I felt, yeah, cheated is the only word. Robbed, robbed of my opportunity to see justice work. Even if I lost, I would have had the opportunity to see the case argued,” said Stewart.

Stewart says he’s not opposed to the idea of fees, but wants to see them imposed in a more fair manner.

“This is a program that has consistently brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in excess of what it costs to run the program, hundreds of thousands,” said Stewart.

As a marijuana caregiver, he feels singled out.

“I mean you can get a pharmacy license in the state of Maine for two hundred fifty dollars. But it takes three hundred dollars per patient for me to sell two and

Article source: http://wabi.tv/2014/03/17/caregivers-react-ruling-medical-marijuana-fees/

Caregivers React to Ruling on Medical Marijuana Fees

March 17th, 2014

John Krinjak

Posted Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 5:59 pm.

Updated 3 hours ago

By

On Thursday, a state judge issued a ruling affecting medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, declaring that the Medical Marijuana Act allows the Department of Health and Human Services to impose fees on caregivers and dispensaries without having to go through a formal legislative procedure.

The ruling stems from a suit filed by caregiver John Stewart of Washington, Maine, that challenged the initial law charging caregivers a three hundred dollar per-patient fee.

“I feel cheated. I felt, yeah, cheated is the only word. Robbed, robbed of my opportunity to see justice work. Even if I lost, I would have had the opportunity to see the case argued,” said Stewart.

Stewart says he’s not opposed to the idea of fees, but wants to see them imposed in a more fair manner.

“This is a program that has consistently brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in excess of what it costs to run the program, hundreds of thousands,” said Stewart.

As a marijuana caregiver, he feels singled out.

“I mean you can get a pharmacy license in the state of Maine for two hundred fifty dollars. But it takes three hundred dollars per patient for me to sell two and

Article source: http://wabi.tv/2014/03/17/caregivers-react-ruling-medical-marijuana-fees/

Judge rules DHHS can impose fee on medical marijuana providers

March 16th, 2014

ROCKLAND, Maine — A state judge has ruled that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services can impose fees on people who provide medicinal marijuana.

Justice Andrew Horton ruled Thursday in Knox County Superior Court that the fees on marijuana caregivers and dispensaries could be set by the agency rather than having to go through a formal rule making process and approval by the Maine Legislature.

The Washington man who challenged human services in court blasted the judge’s ruling.

“This means the government doesn’t have to follow the law. There is no justice when the rule makers can break the law,” John Stewart of Washington said on Saturday.

Stewart, who is a marijuana caregiver, filed a court appeal in November 2012 that argued that human services exceeded its authority by imposing fees of $900 in 2011 and $900 in 2012. The Washington resident also argued that the fee — which was $300 per patient — was excessive.

Stewart had asked the court to block the state agency from enforcing the marijuana caregiver registration fees. He also asked the court to order DHHS to return the $1,800 he had paid for the two prior years and asked that the agency pay his court and attorney fees.

Justice Horton found that the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, adopted by the Legislature, allows the fees to be set as routine technical rules, which does not require the more formal process that includes subsequent votes by the Legislature.

“The intent of the Legislature could not be clearer,”

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/16/news/state/judge-rules-dhhs-can-impose-fee-on-medical-marijuana-providers/

Brunswick medical marijuana grower accused of illegally selling excess

March 14th, 2014

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A 25-year-old Brunswick man faces drug trafficking charges after police allegedly found him growing more marijuana in his home than his medical marijuana card allows and selling the excess.

Jerid Hall was charged with Class C unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, according to Brunswick police Detective Rich Cutliffe.

Acting on an anonymous tip and witness reports, officers executed a search warrant at Hall’s Deerfield Road home on Feb. 20 and allegedly found nearly 2 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale in 1- and 2-ounce bags. Hall was arrested two days later at the Brunswick police station, according to Cutliffe.

Hall was released on unsecured bail and is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Superior Court on April 22.

 

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/14/news/midcoast/brunswick-medical-marijuana-grower-accused-of-illegally-selling-excess/?ref=polbeat

Hazy oversight of medical marijuana growing sparks complaints in York

March 13th, 2014

YORK, Maine — Medical marijuana is being grown in York in a facility authorities believe is operating legally under state law, but over which the town has no control.

“We think it’s a legitimate operation,” Police Chief Doug Bracy said on Friday.

Because of state law and confidentiality under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “We’re limited in our ability to look at this,” Bracy said.

For this reason, and because of public safety concerns about the facility being a target for break-ins, town officials are keeping mum on where the pot is being grown.

However, the York Police Department has fielded several complaints from neighbors of increased traffic on the street and the smell of marijuana, either from it being smoked or from plants being ventilated from the greenhouse, according to Bracy.

There also may be more than one medical marijuana growing facility in York, but there’s no way for police to know other than by receiving resident complaints, as neither the state nor the grower is required under state law to contact local authorities, Bracy said.

There is also no state requirement for residents holding a medical marijuana card to notify police, he said.

“We don’t have the right to go to the facility,” Bracy said. “We’ve not been given the authority to regulate it or oversee it.”

Community Development Director Steve Burns wants to change this by having a local ordinance for medical marijuana facilities like for any other business.

There is nothing on the books, said Burns, who would like to see something go

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/12/news/portland/hazy-oversight-of-medical-marijuana-growing-sparks-complaints-in-york/?ref=latest