Medical marijuana supporters ready for referendum

Posted March 25, 2009, at 8:09 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of a proposal to make medical marijuana available through state-licensed facilities are preparing for a referendum if it fails.

Maine has had a medical marijuana law on the books for 10 years but medical patients say there’s no practical way for them to legally obtain marijuana.

The Maine Medical Marijuana Act would create sites licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services where marijuana could be dispensed.

Ben Chipman from Maine Citizens for Patients’ Rights says the state’s existing medical marijuana law is useless if patients can’t obtain marijuana. The group has obtained 55,000 valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot if lawmakers balk at the bill.