Nurse Practitioners Added To List Of Those Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana

MAINE:  The state’s medical marijuana law, first approved by Maine voters in 1999, has been amended, and the biggest change replaces the word physician with the words “medical provider.”

The amendment , which was signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage last week and goes into effect in August, will allow nurse practitioners to prescribe the medication, members of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine announced Saturday.

The group offered a free medical marijuana information session downtown at the Big Easy Lounge inside the Charles Inn on Broad Street, organized by downtown gallery owner and patient Roxanne Munksgaard, a member of the group’s patient advocacy committee. The caregivers group also is hosting their third annual Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show next Saturday, April 19, at the Spectacular Event Center.


Legalizing Marijuana Could Fund Gov. LePage’s Anti-Drug Bill

MAINE: Lawmakers on Wednesday grappled with issues surrounding Gov. Paul LePage’s bill that would beef up enforcement of illegal drugs, but a proposal that would pair the issue with legalizing marijuana attracted the most discussion.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee did not make any decisions on Wednesday, saying the bill would be discussed in greater detail on Friday. Maine has seen a spike in heroin use, and LePage has seized on that issue, proposing a crackdown on illegal drug trafficking.

Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, said that the more than $2 million it would cost to add 14 Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents, four assistant attorney generals and four district court judges could be more than paid for by legalizing and taxing pot.

Union Gripe Brings Federal Labor Agency Into Marijuana Debate For First Time

MAINE:  The federal government’s latest mixed signal on pot stems from Maine, where a medical marijuana dispensary has settled charges alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act and the rights of its employees.

The National Labor Relations Board agreed to hear claims of union-busting at the Wellness Connection of Maine, and although the case was settled first, the board’s willingness to hear it was yet another tacit acknowledgement of the industry’s legitimacy. Although the federal government considers pot illegal, whether for recreational or medical use, new state laws legalizing it have forced federal authorities to address a variety of conflicts. Notably, the Justice Department has agreed to help banks — barred by money laundering statutes from working with drug dealers — find a way to do business with marijuana merchants in Colorado and Washington. [Read more…]

Maine Democrat Tries to Make Marijuana And NSA Wedge Issues

MAINE:  Susan Collins is the only Republican Senator facing re-election in a state carried by Obama in 2012. Yet her Democratic challenger, Shenna Bellows, a former Maine American Civil Liberties Union director, has received little outside financial funding or national political guidance. [Read more…]