Maine joins seven other states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, despite federal prohibitions on the drug.
Recreational marijuana now legal in Maine – Here’s what you need to know. You have to be 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces, you can’t use pot in public and you can’t buy it – but you can grow your own.
Q: When can I start using?
A: Marijuana becomes legal Jan. 30, but it is not yet legal for marijuana to be sold.
Q: Can anyone use marijuana legally?
A: No. The law says you have to be 21 years or older.
Q: Can I use as much as I want?
A: No. The law allows an individual to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana. We’re told you can roll about 60 marijuana cigarettes, or joints, with each ounce. You can also give a friend up to 2.5 ounces as long as you don’t take anything in return.
Q: Can I smoke it anywhere?
A: No. The law prohibits using marijuana in public, whether you smoke it or eat it. You will have two options – smoking in private, such as in your home, or smoking in a state-licensed marijuana social club. You could be fined up to $100 for using marijuana in public.
Q: Wait, a marijuana social club?
A: The new law allows for state-licensed clubs where customers can use marijuana in a social setting. Proponents say it will provide a place for tourists and others to use the drug legally, an issue that has presented problems in other states.
Q: When can I go to a marijuana store or social club in Maine?
A: Not until at least February 2018. Lawmakers have implemented a moratorium on retail sales to allow time to set up a licensing and regulatory framework.
Q: Will there be stores everywhere?
A: Not necessarily. Maine communities can restrict the locations of the businesses or even ban them outright. Some communities are adopting temporary bans to allow time to consider zoning and other rules, and others are implementing permanent bans to become “dry towns.”
Q: Can’t I just buy it from a medical marijuana dispensary or caregiver?
A: No. State-licensed dispensaries and caregivers are only allowed to sell cannabis products to patients who have received a certification from their doctor.
Q: Can I just grow it myself?
A: Yes. An individual is allowed to have six mature plants, 12 immature plants and an unlimited number of seedlings at any given time. You can’t grow it where it is visible to others and must prevent access by anyone under 21. Each plant has to be labeled with a tag that includes your name and your Maine driver’s license or identification number.
Q: What about workplace drug testing?
A: State officials have said the referendum language is unclear about workplace drug testing, while proponents have said employers will still be able to use drug tests to screen job applicants and existing employees. Employers can forbid employees from coming to work under the influence of marijuana, but standard drug tests do not prove someone is impaired at the time of the test and positive results could reflect marijuana use that occurred weeks before the test was done.
Q: What about smoking pot and driving?
A: It will remain illegal – and dangerous – to drive while intoxicated, whether because of alcohol use or marijuana use. There is no existing test similar to an alcohol Breathalyzer to determine intoxication by marijuana, so police officers will use field sobriety tests and other evidence to determine whether someone has used marijuana before getting behind the wheel.
Q: Can I buy a gun if I use marijuana?
A: This is because marijuana is illegal on the federal level.
From: The Portland Herald