Reflections, After Legalizing Cannabis for Adult Use in Maine.

Maine voted on legalizing cannabis for all adults in the state of Maine on Nov. 8, 2016 and while we have yet to implement any retail locations for Mainer to purchase their cannabis besides established Medical Patients who can purchase cannabis from the many dispensaries around. With more popping up in anticipation of eventual implementation of our adult use cannabis laws. Why we don’t have them yet is a long story but it boils down to one basic fact.

Maine-Governor-Vetoes-Bill-to-Regulate-Sale-and-Tax-on-Adult-Use-Marijuana-facebook Our Governor Paul Lepage has been the major Road block to enacting the law that we voted on. The bill has been butchered and several thing have been taken away from Mainers. Including a reduction in plant count and the elimination of cannabis social clubs for example. Maine is now going to be a better place as he is leaving office at the end of this year and hopefully with his departure the road block to retail sales will be lifted.

There has also been a shift in the acceptability of cannabis use in public. As someone who has needed to use cannabis in public to manage my pain where it felt I still had to really hide it to what it is now. As long as you are being respectful and not smoking at the entrance of a store or in a crowded area, people just don’t care anymore. Really the way it should be. This also makes it easier to share with people. For example after I got my dogs nails trimmed and buffed I saw his groomer outside vaping so we shared I joint I was about to smoke. Or the appliance delivery guys that came to my house I shared a bowl with. It’s like offering someone some tea when they are at your house. It’s only polite.

This does not mean everyone loves cannabis now. I still run into people: who don’t like it, or don’t use it, or don’t fully approve of cannabis, or believe the old stereotypes, but they are not as vocal as they once would have been and a few that are still stuck in the reefer madness area of thought, but they are few and father in-between.

Overall, I have to say that cannabis is in Maine is pretty widely accepted and that is a really good feeling.

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Maine’s Adult Use Marijuana Bill reviewed and the limbo Maine is in.

potlawsBoth the Maine House and Senate have voted on H.P 1199 L.D 1719 and after several changes to the bill the passed it. This bill only needs to be signed into law by the Governor of Maine Paul Lepage. He has 10 days to sign it or veto it. Gov. Lepage has vowed to veto the bill even though it passed with a number of votes that could easy over turn a veto. As the goal prior to sending the bill to the Governor that it should be veto proof. How did they make it veto proof? The made the bill a money grab and reduced the rights the bill allowed. Hoping that would entice the Governor into signing the bill.

The newly amendment bill changes several things from the original bill that Mainers voted for. Some of the biggest changes are a higher tax rate from 10% to 20%. Along with increasing excise taxes on the seeds, mature plants, and on bud/extracts that will be levied at the growers of adult use cannabis that will trickle down the the consumer. This also strips down the rights of Mainers to grow their own cannabis by reducing the plant count allowed from 6 mature plants to 3 mature plants. It also removes the provision to allow cannabis social clubs a place for people to gather and use cannabis. To read the bill yourself follow the link to the Maine State Legislator at the bottom of this post.

What then is governor Lepage have against the bill? Well as it was reported in The Maine Press Herald, “LePage has been pushing more consolidation of the medical and recreational industries. If the pending adult-use bill becomes law, Maine would tax recreational cannabis at an effective rate of 20 percent while taxing medical marijuana at a much lower rate of 5.5 percent, or 8 percent for medical edibles. LePage believes the tax differential would encourage recreational marijuana users to use medical marijuana instead of the adult-use market to save money.”

So if someone qualifies for medical cannabis and would save money on the taxes and that is what he has a problem with. The bill was changed to be a money grab by the state compared to what Mainers voted on and the new bill just does not seem to take enough money from people. This is actually extremely revealing in his motivations and it is honestly scary.

A few points against this thought that the medical program will not prevent the adult use program from making money. Not everyone qualifies for medical cannabis. Not everyone will want to go through the process of getting a medical card even if they do qualify. Maine is a tourist state; tourist all will pay the adult use taxes on their cannabis. Lepage is just being extra greedy on a bill that was changed to be a money grab by the state. The bill already increased the tax from 10% to 20% the tourist will pay a lot already. Stop being so greedy over a plant!

Maine might stay in our limbo of having passed adult use cannabis laws but without the ability to legally purchase adult use cannabis. If Lepage does veto the new adult use cannabis bill the numbers in the House and Senate that voted for this bill could over turn Lepage’s veto, but that is still more time and more delays in the implementation of the adult use cannabis bill.

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Maine State Legislator:

Portland Press Herald:

420: The Origin story

420-meaning-elite-dailyToday is April twenty or 4/20 and I am sure you hearing the term 420 all over. Most people knows that means something to do with cannabis. And maybe something to do with time or a date to smoke cannabis. Or that on April 4th is the day of the year for cannabis smokers to celebrate their love of cannabis.  But the question is why is 420 so important to people who use cannabis? There are many different things people say are the reasons why there is a connect between 420 and cannabis. Some things I have heard over the years include but are not limited to things like: That is how many chemicals are in the plant (there is over 400 different chemicals in cannabis but not 420 exactly), 420 started out as the police code for cannabis smoking in progress (Wrong!), or that it is because it was Hilter’s birthday (never saw this connection  to cannabis but it is something anti-cannabis people use). None of these reasons or many of the other reason people come up with are not the true Origin story of how 420 became connected to cannabis.

So then what is the Origin Story of 420? Well it is not what you might expect or maybe you know it already. The term 420 has a small humble start in the early 1971. It starts with a group of teenagers that go to Rafael High School; the group of teens called them selves the waldos because they would hang out around the wall at school. The Waldos did not come up with the term intending it to become the symbol of all cannabis users world wide

What happened was on fall day in 1971 one of the Waldos gets their hands on a hand drawn map that leads to treasure. The treasure of the green kind. It was a map to a field of cannabis. As all the Waldos were athletes so they decided to meet up at the statue of Louis Pasteur that was at the front of the school at 4:20, so they could go follow their treasure map and pluck off some free buds. All day they would remind each other when they would see each other in the halls with 4:20-Louis or just 4:20. They do meet up at 4:20 and search for this hidden patch of cannabis growing somewhere in the California forests and they did this week after week. Always meeting at 420-Louis. Unfortunately they never did find the field of cannabis. But they ended up coining the phrase 420.

The term go passed around from the Waldos to their friends and the friends of friends and so on. Until it reached the Grateful Dead and they grabbed onto the term 420 and fliers would be passed around the before the concerts that said “we are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” This flier got into the hands of a High Times reporter Bloom. The reported grabbed this flier and in 1991 issue of High Times reported his findings on 420, exposing the term 420 to the broader cannabis culture. The flier even came with a back story of how the term 420 can about. Not the story of the Waldos but one about how it was the police code for smoking cannabis…This was an incorrect back-story as California never had a police code of 420 in the 70’s. The Waldos have been able to prove their story with old letters, notes and even an old flag all with 420 referencing 420.

Now that the true story of where the term 420 came from and remember to:

“Spread Cannabis Knowledge!”