When the clock struck midnight last night, recreational marijuana became legal in Maine.  Feel any differently?

What that means is that it is now legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to two and a half ounces of pot, grow up to six flowering plants, and twelve non-flowering plants.  People must retain possession within their own private property.  Using marijuana in public will carry a $100 fine, comparable to drinking in public.  Also like alcohol, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and subject to fine and jail.

What this also means is that certain friends and family members of yours are no longer criminals here in Maine.  Law abiding, tax paying, job holding members of your community who now no longer harbor the fear of being thrown in jail.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

The next step is to get the sales element out of the long-time dealers hands, where buyers are exposed to more dangerous drugs and other criminal activity, and put marijuana behind the counter of a state regulated store, where it belongs.

Recently State Representative Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, bellwether-ed LD 88, which passed unanimously in the Maine House of Representatives and Senate. Among other things, LD 88 extends the current nine-month delay of retail sales to allow for legislative approval of rule making from January to February 1, 2018.

Marijuana is also legal in the state of Massachusetts, where a similar six month delay of retail sales is in effect.  But remember, pot is still against federal law, and cannot be transported across the state line.