Cannabis Reform: A Bipartisan, Coalition-Building Issue in Maine

There are some great developments in the state of Maine for those of us who favor the movement towards cannabis reform. Two legislators from the great state of Maine, Democratic State Rep. Diane Russell and Republican State Rep. Deborah Sanderson, have joined forces to help in a bipartisan fashion to fight for cannabis freedom  

Rep. Russell proposed a bill (LD5) that would remove the five patient limit for caregivers and growers of medical marijuana, allowing them to actually make a decent living farming a crop. This would mean which under the table transactions. Marijuana would essentially be taken off the black market in Maine for good under this bill, and treated more like a legitimate medicine than a Schedule 1 banned substance.

Another bill (LD23) proposed by Rep. Russell would allow prescriptions for marijuana to be given for a wide variety of conditions like muscle tightness or insomnia, effectively liberalizing the small range of conditions it can currently be prescribed for. The bill calls for a set of outlined conditions that more closely resembles California's medical marijuana law. This is a good step toward ensuring more access to people who need this miraculous plant.

Reps. Russell and Sanderson also co-sponsored a bill (LD35) that would allow the use of marijuana through means other than ignition and imbibing (such as edibles, tinctures, tablets, etc.) in hospitals. Patients would be able to use their medicine in conditions that keep them under hospital care, not just during their daily lives. This is great news for those with more serious conditions, who probably need access to medical marijuana the most.

Rep. Sanderson has even stated that she wishes to pull other Republican representatives and lawmakers toward the cause, understanding that her party should embrace this issue of personal liberty. She also agrees with Russell’s view on legalizing recreational use, saying although the idea is still a little frightening for her. Rep. Sanderson is not quite where she needs to be yet on the cannabis freedom issue, but she is well on the way.

Although I would have rather see more developments about recreational cannabis legalization in Maine, we are headed in the right direction. We are seeing the start of a more relaxed view towards marijuana from both sides of the political spectrum. This is real, substantive progress at the state level that will lead to greater measures of reform. Peace on our Streets doesn't seem like it's too far off in the Pine Tree State anymore.