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Maine Medical Marijuana for Specific Illnesses, Question 2 (1999)

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The Maine Medical Marijuana for Specific Illnesses, also known as Question 2, was on the November 2, 1999 ballot in Maine as an indirect initiated state statute, where it was approved.[1] The measure allowed patients with specific illnesses to grow and use limited amounts of marijuana for treatment, as long as the use was prescribed to them by a physician. The amount was limited to 1.25 ounces or less of harvested marijuana and a total of 6 plants, of which no more than 3 could be mature, flowering plants. The illnesses it was allowed for were persistent nausea, vomiting, wasting syndrome or loss of appetite as a result of acquired immune deficiency syndrome or its treatment and chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer; heightened intraocular pressure as a result of glaucoma; seizures from a chronic, debilitating disease, such as epilepsy; and persistent muscle spasms from a chronic, debilitating disease, such as multiple sclerosis.[2][3]

Election results

Maine Question 2 (1999)
Approveda Yes 256,387 61.41%

Election results via: Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Votes on Initiated Bills 1980-

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2]

Question 2: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to allow patients with specific illnesses to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for treatment, as long as such use is approved by a doctor? [4]


The following description of the intent and content of this measure was provided in the Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

The Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana authorizes an individual suffering from debilitating conditions to be able to treat the illness or its side effects with the use of marijuana. In order for the patient to be eligible to use the marijuana, the patient's physician would have to determine that the patient might benefit from marijuana use. A patient with physician authorization will not be able to possess an amount greater than 1 1/4 ounces of harvested marijuana and 6 marijuana plants, of which no more than 3 may be mature, flowering plants. A patient under 18 years of age will have to obtain parental consent for such use. Maine's current civil and criminal statutes pertaining to the use of marijuana will be amended to allow for the medical exception. The Act would not allow the medical use of marijuana by an eligible individual in a public place or in a work place where such use is not permitted. [4]

—Maine Secretary of State [2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Maine

A total of 47,406 petition signatures were submitted to place this measure before the state legislature. On May 3, 1999, the house of representatives accepted the Majority Ought Not to Pass Report, and the senate accepted it on the following day. On June 23, 1999, Governor Angus S. King, Jr. proclaimed the measure would be voted upon by the people.[2]

See also

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