Lawmakers vote down marijuana legalization but ease access to medical pot

May 10th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

In a rare show of cooperation during a generally divisive legislative session, lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposal to expand access to marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana program.

A second bill that seeks to legalize and tax marijuana in Maine was voted down in a divided decision by the Criminal Justice Committee, but the issue promises to resurface in the future.

The first measure, LD 1296, would make registration with the state voluntary for patients who wish to use marijuana under the supervision and support of their physician, a measure intended to protect the privacy of patients, according to bill sponsor Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea.

Some people will prefer to register in order to ensure they do not run afoul of law enforcement agencies, Sanderson said Tuesday, but people should not be forced to be listed in a state registry to seek lawful therapeutic medical treatment.

The bill includes a number of other provisions that clarify and change the operations of the state’s medical marijuana program, which was established more than a decade ago and overhauled through a citizen referendum in 2009.

Subsequent rulemaking resulted in a tightly regulated network of patients, doctors, growers and storefront dispensaries  that some critics say violates the expressed will of the voters for a more open system.

Sanderson’s bill had its public hearing on April 25 and had strong support from the Maine Civil Liberties Union, which argued for the increased access and less restrictive

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1 comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    So has this bill passed and is law now???