After much hard work by both advocates and opponents of marijuana law reform, Maine has finally legalized recreational marijuana! As of Monday, it is legal for adults over 21 in Maine to smoke, possess, grow, and gift up to 2.5 ounces of dry cannabis, but marijuana businesses will not be able to open until the state is done creating rules and regulations for the new marijuana industry. The close ballot race in which voters won by only 4,000 votes left some legislators uneasy, leading them to delay the beginning of recreational marijuana sales until February 2018. Maine has been running a successful medical marijuana program for some time now and advocates believe it will be a smooth transition into recreational pot.
"It's huge. No longer will we be punishing adults for using a safer substance than alcohol," said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot question. "We're not making criminals out of thousands of Mainers who choose to use marijuana."
Legalization also sparked a row between legislators and Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Lawmakers on Jan. 26 unanimously approved legislation delaying the retail sale of marijuana until February 2018