Proposed New Medical Pot Rules in Maine Generate Controversy

August 13th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

The legislative hearing was filled to capacity–about 100 people, with dozens more in two overflow rooms. They came to weigh in on proposed changes to the state’s rules governing the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

And although there were some proposed changes favored by medical marijuana patients, those speaking made it clear there is still plenty of room for improvement. “Twelve plants is not enough, there’s mistakes that happen,” said Michael Pirruccello of Benton.

Pirruccello is an electrician from Benton and a medicial marijuana patient who says he relies on the drug for pain control after he nearly killing himself on opiates. He says the current marijuana law restricts caregivers to six plants per patient. He says because caregivers sometimes rely on each other for plants, a problem with a particular variety creates a domino effect for some.

“What happens now, when somebody screws up, it screws everybody up, ” Pirruccello said. “Because everybody’s running for clones. Everybody’s running to grow something. We just need a law that says this is a drug that has helped people.”

Mainers approved a law establishing state-licensed dispensaries to distribute marijuana three years ago. The law also included a state identification system for patients who must meet certain medical preconditons to access the drug. Although some of those requirements were relaxed under a law passed by the Legislature last year, the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services at DHHS is now in the process of developing further rules for the program.


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