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.
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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Both 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:
This morning I woke up and read an article that came out of Colorado’s local news WZZM13. The Article, “Doctors Claim first Marijuana Overdose Death.”
The Article goes over a case where a 11 month old child ingests a cannabis edible and several days later has a seizure and eventually dies of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart). Two of the poison control doctors (Dr.Nappe and Dr. Hoyte) are claiming that it was the THC in the baby’s system that caused the myocarditis because it was the only thing in the baby’s system.
It should also be noted that in the article it is also pointed out that, “Myocarditis has a long list of other known causes, mostly from infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.” (WZZM13)
When “9NEWS spoke to multiple ER doctors and medical researchers for this story. Many praised the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center as a top-tier institution for researching the issue, but none accepted this case as bulletproof evidence of a marijuana overdose death.” So in reality it seems that the doctors claiming that THC caused this child’s death are making a very bold claim without being able to prove their claim just that it may have or might have caused myocarditis. Is this how medical and scientific study is done now? I think it is, therefor it must be? How about empirical evidence? In the video interview the reported said that doctors can say how cannabis could cause myocarditis. Instead of this really bold claim; how about you submit for peer review before making such an audacious claim.
I think that overall I am on the side of Dr. Kaufman who said, “I’m going to have to call ‘BS’ on this one,” Kaufman said. “I’m not saying that it’s not. But I think it’s a pretty big leap to say that it is.”
I would like to bring up O’Shaughnessy medical study of cannabis in 1839 when he administered a high does of cannabis tincture to a female child 40 days old eventually giving this baby 130 drop equal to 15 grain of resin for several days to control convulsions . (1 grain equals 0.064 grams) making 15 grains about 1 gram of pure cannabis resin. To give an idea of dose O’Shaughnessy noted that 10 drops of this same tincture was enough to intoxicate medical students who experimented with the tincture. I bring up this medical study to show the amount of a high dose has been historically administered to infant children. Making me seriously doubt the validity of the doctors who claim cannabis killed an 11 month old boy.
I plan on doing some more research on this article and topic. I just wanted to get my reaction out there for people to see. Make sure to read the original article from WZZM 13, so you get the full context of this story. Also if you have not read O’Shaughnessy, “On Preparations of the Indian Hemp, or Gunjah” from 1839 you are also really missing out.
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