Maine has officially hopped on the #LegalizeIt train and on Monday became the eighth state in the nation to allow adults over the age of 21 to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.
Following a passed ballot vote on the measure in November, Maine now joins six Western states (Washington, California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska) and neighboring Massachusetts in allowing for residents to recreationally use marijuana.
According to TheHill, adults in Maine will now be allowed to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana and to grow up to 18 plants at home.
“Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer be harassed and treated like criminals,” said David Boyer, who ran the campaign to legalize pot last year. “Police will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes rather than punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”
Despite the new law, Maine residents will not be allowed to smoke in public, and they still have to wait until state legislators set up regulations that will lead to legal pot shops by February 2018. At the moment, it is still illegal to sell or buy marijuana in Maine.
It is projected that the taxes on marijuana products will help generate revenue for the state’s struggling economy. Maine’s Office of Fiscal and Program Review has officially estimated that marijuana products will generate around $2.8 million in fiscal year 2017–2018 and more than $10 million in the years following.