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Maine: Marijuana Moratorium Measure Expires

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 1, 2018

    Maine Yes on 1Emergency legislation enacted in January 2017 to delay the implementation of several provisions of Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act expired today. Proposed legislation in Maine’s House of Representatives to extend the moratorium until May 1, 2018 failed by a vote of 81 to 65.

    Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who opposed Question 1, had demanded lawmakers seek a nearly one-year additional extension to the existing moratorium. In November, Gov. LePage vetoed legislation that sought to implement provisions in the Act regulating the production and retail sales of cannabis to adults.

    Absent the passage of explicit legislation governing the licensed production and retail sale of marijuana, there still remains no legal way for businesses in Maine to legally grow or sell cannabis commercially. Provisions in Question 1 permitting the establishment of state-licensed social clubs for adult marijuana users also remain indefinitely on hold.

    By contrast, language in the Act prohibiting employers from taking punitive action against personnel for their off-the-job use of cannabis is anticipated to now go into effect. Specifically, the initiative states, “A school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person 21 years of age or older solely for that person’s consuming marijuana outside of the school’s, employer’s or landlord’s property.” While the language does not mandate employers to in any way accommodate employees’ marijuana use while on the job, nor does it permit employees to be at work while under the influence, it does limit the ability for an employer to discriminate against those who test positive on either a workplace or a pre-employment drug test. In preparation for this law change, the Maine Department of Labor has removed marijuana from the list of drugs for which an employer may test in its “model” applicant drug-testing policy, according to a January 30 report on the legal website Lexology.com.

    Separate provisions permitting adults to possess and grow limited quantities of cannabis took effect early last year after action taken by the legislature.

    29 responses to “Maine: Marijuana Moratorium Measure Expires”

    1. Julian says:

      I don’t regret the Benjamins I threw at the Maine marijuana campaign…
      What this means is that another state can empower employees to take their employees to court over off the job marijuana consumption… And in Maine the legislation was vetoed! This is great news for states like Texas that can expand mj employment protections as weak legislation is expanded into effective medical marijuana policy.

    2. Matt says:

      Maine needs to get it together! Vermont may be online before they are! Time for Lepage to GO!! He has been in office WAY too long.

    3. Julian says:

      Senator Rand Paul with Stephen Colbert:

      http://youtu.be/s4LjWraA9SE

      In case anyone missed it. What was said about marijuana policy and the tax bill was fascinating and foreshadowing.
      I never found myself so passionately agreeing and disagreeing with Libertarians so simultaneously than I do now.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Lots of flowery speech from Sen Rand Paul, and it doesn’t mean shit. He has already drunk deeply from the vat of toxic Trump Kool-aid.

        Setting aside any debate about libertarianism for the moment — Rand Paul is full of shit.

        As far as I am concerned, his vote to confirm Jefferson Peckerwood Sessions as AG makes clear that Rand Paul has no integrity whatsoever.

        His justification for his vote is also a load of crap. He says “The Democrats made me do it” and “The Democrats were impugning the good character of one of the very best friends I have in the Ku Klux Klan!”

        From The Washington Post, PowerPost:
        “Rand Paul explains vote for Sessions: Democrats alienated him
        By David Weigel February 10, 2017

        “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a libertarian-leaning Republican who has clashed with newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on drug policy and criminal justice reform, said in an interview that Democrats secured his vote for Sessions by attacking the longtime Alabama senator’s record on race.

        “In some ways, the Democrats made it much more certain that I would vote for him by trying to destroy his character,” Paul said Thursday in an interview with The Washington Post and Roll Call for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” series. “I think it’s very upsetting that they didn’t choose to go after him on particular issues, like civil asset forfeiture, where they might have been able to persuade someone. They chose to go after a man’s character.”

        And:

        “Paul said “This was a vote where I ended up voting for someone who was a colleague, who I knew.”

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Rand Paul is a lying used-car salesman who is trying to sell us a lemon, and that lemon is Trump (assuming the metaphorical used car is infested with maggots, possessed by Satan, and if you get in, the doors lock, the car ignites, and you die an agonizing death as the charred meat falls off your bones. To make the metaphor more accurate.)

          The Senate vote on the Sessions confirmation was the time to put his money where his mouth is. If not then, then when? If not him, then who?

          Look, I think Paul is doing the same thing Gaetz is doing, which is white fucking supremacy, and covering for Trump. His concern for human rights and racial justice is nothing but an act.

          In fact, where it counts, he’s with Trump, all the way, back to the slave days, if that’s what it takes.

          • Julian says:

            Lol… dont hold back! Tell me how you feel, Dain!

            I agree with you %100 that Paul’s thinly veiled pretext for voting for Sessions’ confurmation was treasonous and contradictory. He even draws attention that his vote ended up supporting the a$$et forfeitures Democrats voted against.

            I did more research on his recent record. It’s looking bad.
            Senator Paul is offering lipservice to marijuana reform because even though he’s not up for reelection this year, the people in Kentucky increasingly know he’s full of shit when it comes to marijuana policy. He uses fiscal libertarian policy to vote nay or abstain from bipartisan spending agreements that would keep the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment permanent and stop using it as a bargaining chip in negotiations. For what Paul? To abolish income tax and the Department of Education? That’s your “compromise?”
            I had some hopes he would continue to work with Senator Booker on depenalization and reduce private prisons but at the end of the day, when the vote really counts, Libertarians like Paul put on the tin hat and blast off into anarchy.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Julian,
              Thanks for the confirmation. Yes, I am angry, but not with you, of course. I just can’t stand the thought of otherwise principled and conscientious people falling for these Republican deceptions. I hear Rand Paul parroting the cannabis-friendly applause lines, knowing he is not on our side IN FACT, AS A SENATOR, WHEN IT COUNTS, and I just get furious. Same deal with Rep. Gaetz (R-FL), and his marijuana marketing act. He’s nothing but a whore for Trump, who hates all American Freedom. Wants to give it all away to Putin. Fuck all that!

              I am trying to warn people: don’t fall for it! Whichever principles in which Republicans SAY they believe, it doesn’t matter, because they will ALWAYS put the cult of the Trump GOP (Grab Our Pussies) first and foremost, making everything else they say irrelevant bullshit.

            • Anonymous says:

              I will never forget the night that Rand Paul was on Rachel Maddow’s show. She asked him, based on one of his votes (can’t recall which exactly right now), if he would support discrimination in a business (restaurant, etc), that is, discrimination based on race, color, etc.

              He complained that she ambushed him with that question, and would only say that he didn’t think the Government should be able to discriminate. When she pressed him about whether or not private businesses should be allowed to discriminate–he retreated time and again to the stance that GOVERNMENT should not be able to discriminate.

              So, he refused to publicly state whether or not a private business should be able to discriminate–that was his political cowardice on display, as well as his true feelings. So, Rand Paul, it appears, would have no problem whatsoever with discrimination based on race, color, religion, etc, as long as it’s a private business. That’s the America he’d like to return us to.

            • Julian says:

              Yeah, anonymous, that’s the jist of Rand Paul Libertarianism. Let’s keep the government out of existence because, somehow, magically, private business will benevolently take care of the public interest? That’s literally assuming Big Pharma is not actively using the government to prohibit marijuana from us. Wake up Rand Paul. Kentucky can see through you.

            • Evening Bud says:

              Julian, “anonymous” above is me of course, lol. But I wholeheartedly agree. The notion that we should let private businesses alone because they’ll always do the right thing . . . because of money . . . is of course ludicrous.

    4. Dain Bramage says:

      Let’s not miss this huge step forward: anti-discrimination in the workplace. Let’s just say, after decades of being extorted by corporate America into humiliating and degrading drug tests, or paying the price for disobedience, let’s just say I’m looking forward to a little corporate payback.

      Thank you, legalization activists, and voters!

    5. Dain Bramage says:

      LePage has his nose so far up Trump’s ass, I’m betting a dollar he is going to show up in a Mueller indictment eventually. Better than even odds, he’s got Kremlin ties, I would say, just based on the fact that he is so much like Trump’s “mini-me!”

    6. Todd says:

      Commerce in a free society works like its democracy, by money flowing back and forth between groups of people that have spending capital. Job creation for others is in maintaining that commerce once it is started. Therefore, in this deficit economy (negative cash flow overall) it is imperative to let democracy have and implement its choices, ask Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who opposed Question 1 and Maine’s regulating the production and retail sales of cannabis to adults. Under a dictator commerce works by taxes and so stays in deficit which eventually bites as overpopulation of a middle class, ask Charles Darwin.

    7. Duncan20903 says:

      In the mean time Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson managed to enact and smoothly implement the medicinal cannabis patient protection law approved by Arkansas voters on Election Day 2016. Don’t forget that Federal law does not distinguish medicinal from cannabis intended for enjoyment. So why can a former director of the DEA turned Governor of Arkansas get his job done but Gov. LePage refuses because cannabis is on the Feds naughty lists?

    8. Demonhype says:

      And once mj is taken off the drug testing roster across the board, drug testing itself will follow suit. 98% of all positive tests are for mj, drug testing is useless for screening hard drug users and even more useless for detecting impairment, though most uninformed people think that’s exactly what it tested for.

      I seriously was told at a NORML meeting that drug testing companies will boom in the wake of mj legalization. I still reel at the ignorance of that statement. Mj is the cash crop of the DT industry, without which they can’t maintain the illusion of efficacy, and they have been at the forefront of fighting legalization from day one.

      Hey, NORML, any further word on that multi-state drug testing initiative?

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Demonhype,
        Here in Colorado, marijuana has been legal for years, but many, many employers continue to drug test for marijuana, and deny employment on that basis.

        Is this wrong? Certainly. Is it illegal? No.

        So why do they do it? Because Corporate America is a DICK! You never noticed that before? Never heard of employment discrimination? It is fucking Corporate America who is driving this reefer madness!

        Anything for a buck, eh?

        • Demonhype says:

          That’s why I’m so frikkin impatient with NORML for announcing their new dept targeting the most influential yet somehow most invisible source of prohibition and drug warrior empowerment and then disappearing it into the night! I firmly believe the drug testing industry is one of the biggest lynchpins in this authoritarian debacle, maybe the biggest due to the fact that there is currently zero attention much less pushback on them, and if that industry could be eliminatedor even challenged it would improve our chances.

          You’re right its about money thoughts companies that drugtest without cause get huge tax writeoffs of the cost, plus tax breaks and subsidies for accepting this “free service” of Uncle Sam paid for by you and me.

          I heard about CO companies still testing. I also heard they’re having a hell of a time finding workers. That is, workers who are not using mj, since companies that test actually have higher rates of hard drug use due to drug testing’s complete inability to screen anything but mj. There’s even evidence that random testing programs push mj users into using harder drugs because of that. When some chucklehead asks me,”why don’t you want to work in a company that drug tests, you don’t want to work with cokeheads, do you?” I reply “of course not, that’s why I want to work somewhere that doesn’t test, all the cokeheads work at places with comprehensive drug testing policies!”

          But its not about stopping drugs, never was. Drug testing is about acclimating the peasants to facism and the loss of their rights, and,for employers, about reaping that sweet sweet tax money into their private pockets. They know full well that its a failure at its supposed purpose, that it is a dismal failure ast screening out drug use, but its been a rousing success at its real purpose.

      • Julian says:

        Demonhype,
        It’s been a while; nice to read youre still on the DT drumbeat.
        I myself am curious to know what happened to the multistate DT initiative.
        What I can tell you is that Federal courts are increasingly coming to the defense of off the job marijuana consumption. This case in Maine is fairly extreme considering the law was vetoed. But in Massachussetts last year there was a groundbreaking case titled Barbuto v Advantage Sales & Marketing that not only favored the Plaintiff for being fired for her off the job medical marijuana consumption, but she was even awarded damage$. When money like that gets involved you can bet other state agencies and business pay attention.

    9. TheOracle says:

      It looks like Maine wants Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, whatever, Vermont(?) to operate adult retail and act as a buffer between the feds in D.C. and Maine on the I-95 corridor. Larger population area makes Maine less of a target to cannabis prohibitionists. It’s looking more like the next east coast cannabis singularity ought to be the coordinated go-date, you know, the implementation date of July 1, 2018, Sunday or not, that it goes into effect in Canada and as many New England states as possible. If you could add New Jersey to that implementation date, that makes Jersey the closest and lowest-hanging fruit to D.C. if the prohibitionist feds want to launch an uphill offensive. Get the big wigs from those states to coordinate with each other, also with their Canadian counterparts. Have something ready to email to the drones in this Administration for putting yet another international treaty/agreement on hold and re-negotiating the U.S. and Canada out of this ridiculous prohibition of cannabis. That’s what the Negotiator-in-Chief does; ignores agreements to his advantage and somebody gets a screwing. With legalization, the prohibitionists are getting it so they better be able to switch sides to keep having a steady income from somewhere. Keep making all those baby steps, and may one of them lead to federal de-scheduling.

      • Julian says:

        I cant wait to visit Canada in July. Im even planning a road trip in case I have to reschedule hotel reservations for a delay in legalization. I have this image in my head of a polite Prime Minister Trudeau before the United Nations apologizing in true Canadian fasion for renegotiating the terms of the Drug Convention with a row of frowns from Niki Haley, to Russia and some African dictators looking around horrified like “Is this really happening?”

    10. TheOracle says:

      No way do the prohibitionist feds(Sessions)have enough in their budgets to handle cannabis prohibition enforcement. If the west coast can do it so can the east coast, you know, New England, New Jersey, and to the north, Canada. No way do the feds have enough money and people power to take on the west coast adult retail in anything but a much bigger game of whack-a-mole that they been losing for decade upon decade to the (Mexican) cartels and street gangs.

      Simply discontinue the outsourcing of the supply for the demand for cannabis in the U.S. Then it’s up to Mexico to legalize cannabis for legal export to the U.S. so that folks in their seed-to-sale-cannabis communities can be assured of earning a decent living and having decent health care and education, you know, not being as poor anymore, and lift more people up, you know, expand the Mexican middle class and millionaire class with above-ground money. Looking forward to many Mexican top-shelf sativa varieties in the U.S. like French wines next to U.S. wines on the shelves.

      https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/washington-ag-were-prepared-for-legal-cannabis-fight-with-feds

      • Julian says:

        Ive always believed Mexico’s legalization is tied to US drug policy legalizing first.
        The move to legalize medically in Mexico came somewhat as a surprise, I might add. Although I know the OAS has been working for years to help LATAM legalize in order to fight back against opressive and violent US drug policies. Also, it’s a tepid, limited approach to mmj in Mexico still in need of implementation and seeking to import product (presumably from Canada) at first. The aim is to embarrass US drug policy internationally while not create targets for US cartels in Mexico.

        Meanwhile the word of mouth in Mexico over marijuana as medicine is reawakening traditional medicinal roots from healers or “curanderas” and helping restore the positive cultural view of the plant. Only thing that worries me is the gross mislabeling of medicinal marijuana products in flea markets but I suspect this too will pass as the Mexican public becomes emboldened and reeducated on marijuana and local cultivation is restored. Wish we could say the same about mislabeling in the US… but then again strains of marijuana have more accuracy of content and quality safety then our prescription meds do… so I guess were all changing our ways in that respect.

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