Maine: Lawmakers Advance Legislation Protecting Cannabis Use While on Probation

Maine marijuana laws

House and Senate lawmakers have advanced legislation, LD 1311, providing legal protections for adults who either possess or consume cannabis while on probation or parole.

The legislation “prohibits an individual’s legal cultivation, possession or use of cannabis — or testing positive for cannabis — from being a violation of probation, parole or release pending trial unless the court finds that the cultivation, possession or use of cannabis by the individual creates a risk of danger to the individual or others.”

Both chambers approved the legislation earlier this week. It now awaits action from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Commenting on the pending legislation, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “This measure reinforces the reality that the responsible, adult-use of cannabis is legal in the state of Maine and that those who engage in this lawful behavior should not face discrimination for their actions.”

If enacted into law, Maine will be among the only jurisdictions defining cannabis use as allowable conduct for those either on probation, parole, or pending trial. In 2019, New York City lawmakers enacted legislation removing abstinence from marijuana as a necessary condition of probation. In a handful of other states, including Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, courts have ruled that eligible patients can legally use medical cannabis while on probation.

Maine voters approved a statewide initiative legalizing the adult-use cannabis market in 2016; however, retail marijuana sales did not begin until 2020.