Earlier this month, Maine voters approved a medical marijuana amendment that will create a private database of approved patients, expand the number of medical conditions that can be approved for cannabis use, and allow for state licensed nonprofit cooperatives to distribute Marijuana to registered patients. This was a big step for the Maine medical initiative and essentially makes their system the same as ours here in California.
According to NORML, the Maine voters fall in favor of cannabis reform every time they can vote on a an initiative. They also explain that, even though the poles consistently show support for reform, the elected officials are still hesitant to take a stance on the issue and generally default the decision to the people. It was also said that the only organized opposition to the amendment was from Maine law enforcement.
This development has several implications for the medical initiative as a whole. First of all, this is a fresh start for a medical dispensary system not unlike the one here in California. Hopefully the state government will impose regulations and supervise the new system so that many of the problems that occurred in California can be avoided. A second possible effect of this legislation is that, with the states attention and supervision, a more developed and sophisticated medical system can be made. If this is done correctly, Maine's cannabis system may eventually become an example of a well run, beneficial program that other states could eventually try to employ. In order for any of this to happen however, the Maine officials need to look to California and recognize that the they must quickly take a clear stance on the regulations of the amendment, and insure that these regulations are upheld consistently throughout the state. This will help to avoid the issues in California's system that occurred due to the governments hesitation to take a stance or regulate the market.