Are you a medical marijuana patient facing state charges in Maine?
If you are arrested for a marijuana offense and the prosecutor files charges, you will first face an arraignment, where you will plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you will have various motions hearings and eventually you may go to trial before a jury or judge, and the process may take a significant amount of time. Use a Public Defender or private attorney, and feel free to have her or him contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss trial strategy.
Maine's Question 2, a statutory ballot initiative, originally passed with 61% of the vote on November 2, 1999 and was modified by L.D. 611, on April 1, 2002. Maine activists are working towards getting an initiative on the ballot that would continue with implementation, and include registry identification card and dispensary provisions, but have yet been unsuccessful.
Maine law allows a patient with written documentation (also known as a recommendation) to possess 1.25 oz. of processed bud, 3 mature plants, and 3 immature plants.
Currently, there are no provisions in Maine's law regarding registry identification cards, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services does not issue them. Valid written documentation must note that the patient was examined "in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship", that the patient has been diagnosed with one of the listed conditions, that the physician has discussed and given her or his professional opinion on "the possible balance of risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana", and that the patient "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana". When the patient asserts a medical marijuana affirmative defense in state court, the burden of proof is on the State to prove that a patient's medical use or possession was not authorized by statute.
A medical marijuana patient may have 1 designated caregiver, which is a person "who has consistently assumed responsibility for the eligible patient's housing, health, or safety" and is named in a written individual instruction or power of attorney for health care. In Maine, the listed conditions are:
Medical use of marijuana is not authorized by Maine's medical marijuana law if it occurs in a public place or in a workplace where such use is not permitted.
Additionally, check out Mainers for Medical Rights, Maine Citizens for Patients' Rights, and the Maine Marijuana Information Resource Center. Additionally, check out the Maine Patrol Officer's Guide to the Medicinal Marijuana Law, from the Maine Assistant Attorney General.
Additionally, while ASA is unaware of any current precedential Maine caselaw supporting the return of marijuana to a patient if there is a lack of probable cause, it might be possible for a Maine patient to get his or her legal amount of medicine back from law enforcement if it was wrongfully seized and the criminal case has not been prosecuted or has been dismissed. For more information on how this type of process works in California, take a look at our Return of Property page. You and your Public Defender or private attorney can research whether your state has a Return of Property process and special proceedings in Criminal Court, and you can attempt to apply the reasoning of the California Motion for Return of Property, and create a similar Maine motion. For more information on filing this motion, contact ASA's Legal Services Coordinator.
Make sure you give all of this information to your Public Defender or private attorney and discuss it with her or him, and also that you and your lawyer continue to research whether there is any new caselaw in your state regarding medical marijuana. For information about how to find a lawyer familiar with medical marijuana law in your state, contact local activists to see if they have any information at Local Resources. Also, here is a link to a Maine marijuana lawyer.