Maine lawmakers on Monday overturned the governor’s veto of a medical marijuana reform bill, putting the state on path to loosen its rules for letting patients legally use the plant.
Legislators in the House and Senate voted 119-23 and 25-8, respectively, to reject a veto handed down three days earlier by Gov. Paul LePage, reiterating their support for sweeping reforms expected to significantly expand access to medical marijuana in part by effectively eliminating the existing list of qualifying conditions under which a patient can be recommended pot.
Maine legalized medical marijuana in 1999, but currently physicians can only recommend the drug to patients who have been diagnosed with any of a handful of certain health conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder and inflammatory bowel disease, among others.
Additionally, the bill will allow six new medical-marijuana dispensaries to open, let licensed caregivers expand their business operations and give regulatory powers to state and municipalities authorities, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Around 42,000 patients are currently enrolled in Maine’s medical marijuana program, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a pro-legalization group.
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