Maine Drug Laws
The Maine drug laws are varied and diverse. Below, you will find explanations and links to some of the newer and more important drug laws in the state.
Synthetic And Designer Drugs
Like many states, Maine regulates the sale and possession of designer drugs like synthetic cannabis and bath salts. According to the State Legislature’s webpage, beginning July 1, 2012, a number of specific substances came under the jurisdiction of state law enforcement agents, including “HU-210” and “HU-211.” Each of these substances has specific chemical compounds associated with them.
Prescription drug abuse is causing an increase in crime in both rural and urban Maine. According to the Maine Department of Public Safety, crime increased by 5.4 percent between 2010 and 2011, and much of this increase has been associated with prescription drugs. Additionally, more people are being arrested for illegal prescription drugs than for other illicit drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine.
A task force has been created to recommend laws and public programs addressing prescription drug use. They will work with local officials to develop drug disposal programs, and alert doctors when patients are arrested for drug abuse.
Maine residents have been able to use and possess small amounts of medical marijuana since 1999. In 2009, the state allowed licensed stores to sell medical-grade marijuana for those with chronic and debilitating medical conditions.
Maine Drug Court Program
Maine, like most states, maintains an independent drug court program to reduce recidivism within the population of users arrested for drug and alcohol related crimes.
Drug court cases in Maine are heard in one of seven courts: Machias and Calais District Court, Androscoggin County Superior Court, Penobscot County Superior Court, York County Superior court, Hancock County Superior Court or Portland District Court. The drug court is comprised of: A judge, case manager, treatment provider, probation officer, prosecutor, defense attorney and law enforcement officers.
To enter drug court, Maine residents must:
- Receive a referral form from the clerk’s office or drug court case manager
- Return the referral form
- Case managers will investigate the case to ensure the person is eligible for drug court and will benefit from the program
- Resident will participate in a computerized screening
- Resident will undergo a comprehensive assessment with a treatment provider
- The prosecutor and defense attorney discuss a plea bargain
- The resident is accepted to the Drug Court program
While participating in Drug Court, residents will attend weekly self-help meetings, undergo random drug screenings, speak with a case manager on a daily basis, follow curfew and travel restrictions and meet regularly with the court judge.
Drug Testing And Employment
All non-federal businesses with more than 20 employees must create both an employee assistance program and have a written policy for drug testing established, before asking employees to undergo drug screenings. The written policy and program must be approved by the Maine Department of Labor.
The written policy must explain what positions are eligible for drug screening, and how employees will be selected for screening. Additionally, urine samples must contain a recognized state limit of THC and other substances, before the employee may be disciplined for drug use.