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

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Maine Question 2 appeared on the November 2, 1999 statewide ballot in Maine. It passed, with 61.4% in favor.

The measure allowed patients with specific illnesses to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for treatment, as long as such use is approved by a doctor.

47,406 signatures were submitted to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Election results

Maine Question 2 1999
Approveda Yes 256,387 61.4%

Text of measure


This is the preamble of the initiative:

Preamble. The People of the State of Maine declare their purposes and intent in enacting the Maine Medical Marijuana Act of 1998 to be the following:

  • Use of marijuana has been found to provide important therapeutic and palliative benefits to many patients who suffer from debilitating conditions resulting from certain diseases or treatment of these diseases. Patients should be allowed to use small amounts of marijuana without civil or criminal penalties when their doctors advise that such use may provide a medical benefit to them and when other reasonable restrictions are met regarding that use.
  • This Act is intended to permit patients who may benefit from the medical use of marijuana to be able to discuss freely with their physicians the possible risks and benefits of medical marijuana use and to have the benefit of their physicians' professional advice.
  • Persons who have been legally designated as care givers to medically needy patients should not be in violation of civil or criminal laws when they assist these patients in using permissible amounts of marijuana.
  • As there is currently no legally available supply of marijuana for medically needy patients, these patients or their care givers should be allowed to grow a small amount of marijuana to meet the patient's medical requirements.
  • Enactment of this Act is intended to make only those changes to existing Maine laws that are necessary to allow use of marijuana by medically needy patients, and is not intended to change current civil and criminal laws governing the use of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.
  • Enactment of this Act is not intended to permit use of marijuana in public places nor change any laws governing the duty of care owed to others, including laws governing operating a motor vehicle.


This initiated bill makes the following changes to the laws governing the possession and use of marijuana.

  1. It authorizes an eligible patient diagnosed with one or more specified debilitating conditions, including cancer and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, to use marijuana for medical purposes when a physician determines that the patient might benefit from marijuana use and when other requirements are met.
  1. It limits the amount of marijuana that an eligible medical patient may possess without violating civil or criminal laws to no more than 1 1/4 ounces of harvested marijuana and 6 marijuana plants, of which not more than 3 may be mature flowering plants.
  1. It allows a person who is legally designated to care for an eligible medical patient to assist that patient in using marijuana for medical purposes.
  1. For a person under 18 years of age, it authorizes medical use of marijuana only if both the listed medical eligibility requirements have been met and a parent or legal guardian has given written consent to this use or the person is entitled to consent to all health care services pursuant to law.
  1. It prohibits medical use of marijuana by an eligible patient in a public place or in a workplace where this use is not permitted.


WHEREAS, written petitions bearing the signatures of 47,406 electors of this State, which number is in excess of ten percent of the total vote cast in the last gubernatorial election preceding the filing of such petitions, as required by Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, of the Constitution of Maine, were addressed to the Legislature of the State of Maine and were filed in the office of the Secretary of State on or before the fiftieth day after the convening of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Legislature in the First Regular Session, requesting that the Legislature consider an act entitled "An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana"; and

WHEREAS, the Secretary of State duly certified the initiative petition to be valid and submitted the measure to the Legislature in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, of the Constitution of Maine; and

WHEREAS, the initiated act, known as Legislative Document 2109 was referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services for public hearing on April 14, 1999; and

WHEREAS, on May 3, 1999, the Maine House of Representatives accepted the Majority Ought Not to Pass Report and on May 4, 1999, the Maine Senate accepted the Majority Ought Not to Pass Report and thus the legislation failed enactment; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, of the Maine Constitution provides that the Governor shall, by proclamation, order an initiated bill proposed to, but not enacted by, the Legislature without change to the people for referendum in November within 10 days following the recess of the Legislature to which the measure was proposed; and

WHEREAS, under the provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, an election must be held in November of the year in which the petition is filed by proclamation;

NOW THEREFORE, I, ANGUS S. KING, Jr., Governor of the State of Maine, acting under the provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 of the Constitution of Maine, do hereby proclaim that an election shall be called for Tuesday, November 2, 1999, so that "An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana" be submitted to the people of this State for a referendum vote.

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