Maine Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 9, 2016

    According to the Associated Press, voters in Maine have approved Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act. The Associated Press’s final vote count is 50.17 to 49.83 percent.

    “In 2013, over 70% of voters in the city of Portland decided it was time to reject the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and embrace legalization. Tonight, a majority of voters statewide agreed with that assessment. With the approval of Question 1, Maine has elected to take a sensible approach to marijuana and reject the flawed ideas of the past. Thanks to them, Maine will no longer arrest otherwise law abiding adults for choosing to consume a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol and tobacco and in the process generate tax revenue that will be used to greatly improve education and other vital state services.” said Erik Altieri, NORML’s new Executive Director.

    Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act, permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants, and/or up to 12 immature plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to two and one-half ounces of herbal cannabis) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 10 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity.

    The new law takes effect within 40 days. Regulations for marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017. You can read the full text of Question 1 here.

    “To those who allege that marijuana law reform is a west coast phenomenon, tonight’s votes tell a different story,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “The majority of Americans throughout this country recognize that marijuana prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts young people and communities of color. That is voters are rejecting the failures of criminalization and embracing these sort of regulatory alternatives.”

    36 responses to “Maine Legalizes Recreational Marijuana”

    1. Mark Mitcham says:

      Congratulations to Maine, Montana, Nevada, Arkansas, Massachusetts, California, North Dakota, and Florida! (And according to the Denver Post, the social club initiative 300 is too close to call, but squeaking ahead 50.8 percent in favor to 49.1 percent opposed. Stand by.)

      This is all wonderful news, and I’m as delighted as the next medical marijuana patient.

      But…any thoughts on who Trump might go to for Attorney General?

      I suppose we’re about as well-positioned as we could be, as we head into what might well be a showdown with Trump’s new Attorney General, whoever that might be. If it’s a Chris Christie type, he/she might simply decide to shut it all down! That’s not a prediction, but it is a contingency which worries me.

      Hate to rain on the parade, honestly I do; but “Heads up,” people! Just saying.

    2. Evening Bud says:

      Fucking ‘A’ Maine!!

      Two Eastern states!

    3. Hairy Bud says:

      OverGrow the Govmnt

    4. Gary says:

      These terms suck.

      Maine, you screwed up.

      • Nodens says:

        You know there is such a thing as amendments right? Getting a law in the books is the most important part in making cannabis legal for all. It can be refined to perfection over time.

      • Aaron martin says:

        U r so right thay will c what they started n b sorry some people r ignorant

    5. Opps! says:

      Maine is too close to call. Right now as of 9:45 ET it’s 50.3% yes, 49.7% no with 91% reporting.

    6. Cat Cassie says:

      Congratulations Maine! Happy for you!

    7. Paula M. says:

      I’m so glad that this has happened in my lifetime. No more hiding and dealing with sketchy characters. America is great again!!!


    8. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      Legalization is up in the air just now though as the numbers are 50 50.

      Maine Question 1, 2016
      Updated Nov 9, 2016 12:41 PM EST
      95% reporting

      I watched this thing most of the night, and I watched it go to 50 50. I hope that they look at the actual number who voted yes, and go by that. But this could end up going to a court before decided what to do.

      Massachusetts on the other hand, it won by a majority.

      The only one of five where it didn’t win is Arizona. I kind of doubted it would win there, but still hoped.

      california prop 64 results is almost not even surprising to me, after the way everyone talked about it.


      I have high hopes that this will be looked at closely, as now there’s not four but eight states with legal recreational marijuana… and DC. I hope that Trump will look at that and consider doing something at a Federal Level. I also hope that now that is probably did pass in four of the five states, maybe Tom Wolf will reconsider the legalization bill here in Pennsylvania.

      Glad things are moving in the correct direction.

    9. Dave says:

      Are we sure that it passed? I’m still seeing a virtual 50/50 dead heat with 4% of the votes still uncounted.

    10. Nodens says:

      Don’t celebrate just yet.

      It’s currently at 96.6% Reporting and still very very close.

      Yes – 50.3% [745,246]
      No – 49.7% [737,808]

      It could flip even with 3.4% left, most of those being definite no areas. I hope it passes, but this election cycle has been full of surprises.

      • Denny Strausser Jr says:

        For Maine, even though I believe it is still 50 50, I believe has been declared a win for legalization.

        This helps, and I hope will help legalize for all of us.