Maine Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for Any Condition, Governor Vetoes

Maine Governor Paul LePage has vetoed legislation that would have allowed doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any condition they deem appropriate.

Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Maine’s Legislature recently and overwhelmingly passed a set of reforms to the state’s medical marijuana program. Among the reforms includes effectively removing the state’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions by instead allowing doctors to recommend the medicine to anyone they feel could benefit of it, regardless of what their particular condition is. This is the same approach Oklahoma voters passed last month when they gave approval to a medical cannabis legalization initiative.

Despite receiving strong bipartisan support, Governor LePage – a longtime and staunch opponent of marijuana – vetoed the legislation. However, the legislature now has the option of overriding the veto, which can be done with a 2/3rds vote. The measure passed with over 2/3rds voting in favor, so there is enough support for an override as long as lawmakers are willing to contradict the governor on this particular issue.

In addition to giving doctors more say over who is recommended medical marijuana, the set of reforms would have made several other changes, including increasing the number of dispensaries in the state from eight to 14, and allowing them to be for-profit.

In Maine, medical marijuana has been legal since 1999. The state legalized cannabis for recreational purposes in 2013.

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