Across the country, states are starting to legalize recreational marijuana. Following Colorado and Washington’s lead, about half the states have legal medical marijuana, and many are decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Maine joined the growing list of states allowing recreational marijuana when voters approved a ballot initiative in 2016, allowing for the possession of up to 2.4 ounces of usable marijuana and the home cultivation of up to six plants.
Marijuana Drug Classification
Federal law and many states classify drugs from Schedule I at the highest level to Schedule V at the least dangerous. Supposedly, these schedules are determined by the drugs accepted medical uses and potential for addiction and harm. However, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by federal law with such drugs as heroin and meth, which could be for more of a political than medical reason.
Maine classifies drugs from W at the top to Z at the least dangerous. While recreational use of marijuana is legal to a certain extent, amounts greater than 2.5 ounces per person are still illegal, as is the public consumption of the herb.
Maine Marijuana Laws
The following table details Maine’s marijuana laws.
|Code Section||Maine Code Revised Title 17-A, Chapter 45: Drugs|
|Possession||Possession of marijuana in Maine is punished by the amount of weed the person has, as follows:
If the material is actually industrial hemp, such as used to make rope or clothing, it’s not a crime.
|Furnishing||Maine law prohibits the furnishing, giving, administering, delivering, or otherwise transferring marijuana, or possessing it to do those things. Possession of at least one pound of marijuana or more will result in a person being assumed to be furnishing or trafficking Mary Jane.|
Trafficking or selling or distributing marijuana is also illegal. It’s punished based on marijuana weight as shown above.
Note: As the recreational marijuana law matures, the state may offer licenses for lmarijuana dispensaries.
Cultivating marijuana is legal in Maine, as long as individuals don't grow more than six plants at a time. The penalty for cultivating more than this depends on the number of plants, as follows:
Cultivating can also be aggravated if the person does any of the same things (using children to cultivate, using a firearm in the crime, etc.). When aggravated, the crime is increased by one level.
Note: As the recreational marijuana law matures, the state may offer licenses for larger-scale cultivation to be sold at dispensaries.
|Drug Paraphernalia||Sometimes, states prohibit drug paraphernalia or accessories, as well as drugs. Maine law prohibits the trafficking, furnishing, or possession of certain marijuana cultivation or use accessories, such as cutting kits or water bongs or pipes. While generally a Class E crime, it can be increased to a Class D crime for selling or giving marijuana drug accessories to a child under 16.
Advertising illegal drug paraphernalia is a Class E crime.
If you’re charged with a marijuana-related crime, you should talk to an experienced drug crime defense lawyer.
Note: State laws change often. Conduct your own legal research or contact a lawyer to verify these drug crime laws.
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