Maine May Decriminalize The Possession of Drugs
A bill by the name of An Act To Make Possession of Scheduled Drugs for Personal Use a Civil Penalty has been introduced by Maine lawmakers.
So, what does that mean?
This bill would change the classification of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs from a crime to a civil violation. This means that the possession of a schedule W, X, Y, or Z drug would come with a fine of up to $100 instead of jail time.
What are scheduled drugs?
According to an article from the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, Maine schedules drugs as follows:
Schedule W: Includes certain amounts of heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine.
Schedule X: Includes hallucinogenic drugs such as mushrooms and hashish.
Schedule Y: Includes certain prescription drugs such as codeine, diazepam, and phenobarbitals.
Schedule Z: All other drugs not listed above.
What if they can't pay the $100 fine?
The bill states that if the individual cannot pay the fine an alternative sentence may be offered for the individual to see a licensed health care provider or drug treatment facility.
Who's behind the bill?
This bill sponsored by Representative Anne Perry of Calais is following in the footsteps of Oregon which decriminalized drug possession earlier this year according to WGME.
Supporters of decriminalization say that these efforts better help the community but as WGME reports, Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton states that this could make it more difficult to enforce trafficking laws.
According to Marijuana Moment, a public hearing has yet to be scheduled.
Under the proposed bill selling/trafficking drugs would remain illegal.
Read the bill in full here.
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