Maine Senate Defeats Drug Decriminalization Bill That Cleared The House

MJ moment

The Maine Senate on Wednesday defeated a bill that would have decriminalized possession of all currently illicit drugs. The setback for reform advocates comes two weeks after the legislation was narrowly approved in the House of Representatives. Despite attempts to compromise, the Senate rejected LD 967 in a 14-18 vote. As passed by the House, the legislation would have made possession of controlled substances for personal use punishable by a $100 fine, without the threat of incarceration. That fine could also have been waived if a person completed a substance misuse assessment within 45 days of being cited. On Wednesday, the Senate first adopted an amendment from Sen. Mark Lawrence (D) that would have limited the civil violation to a first and second offense, making the second case punishable by a maximum $200 fine and referral to a substance misuse assessment. A third and subsequent offenses would have remained criminal violations. But that modest compromise did not garner enough support for passage. “This amendment decriminalizes addiction,” Sen. Craig Hickman (D) said on the floor. “And the people of Maine–and law enforcement officers on the ground in Maine—need us to pass this bill.” — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access. — Even if the legislation had passed, it was expected to be vetoed by Gov. Janet Mills (D), whose administration opposes the reform, as does the state attorney general. “The Senate had an opportunity to provide people with desperately needed relief, and it failed,” Courtney Allen, policy director…

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Source : Maine Senate Defeats Drug Decriminalization Bill That Cleared The House

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