Maine Drug Possession Laws
Whether this is your first run-in with the law or if you have a lengthy criminal history, being charged with drug possession in the state of Maine is no simple matter. A drug possession charge has the potential to drastically change your life—affecting your relationships, employment, and even your residence. Avoiding a conviction is the best chance you have to maintain life as you know it after a possession charge.
The penalty you face for possession of drugs in Maine depends on several factors. As in other states, the statutes regarding drug possession are not cut and dry; they are not simple. Instead, they are filled with exceptions and complications. While we can speak in generalities on this page in an effort to help, consulting with a local defense attorney will help you get a more accurate picture of what you’re up against.
Maine Marijuana Possession Laws
Maine voters legalized marijuana by ballot initiative on November 2016 (Question 1), although it wasn’t formally certified until Dec 31. As of January 30, 2017, possession of marijuana is formally legalized in the state of Maine. Maine became the 8th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
You are allowed to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of dried marijuana if you are an adult of over 21 years. It is still illegal to sell marijuana until recreational retail stores finally open, which isn’t expected until Feb 2018. You can give someone marijuana as a gift, but not sell it.
Use of marijuana in public is still illegal, subject to a $100 fine (civil infraction). You can smoke at your home, or in licensed marijuana social clubs.
You are also now allowed to grow, with up to 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants, subject to labeling with a tag that includes your name and Maine driver’s license number.
Previously, marijuana in the state of Maine was decriminalized. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces may trigger criminal charges and the potential for jail time.
Possession of Heroin, Cocaine, and Other Drugs
Aside from marijuana possession, possessing other drugs is always a criminal offense. If you are caught with meth, cocaine, crack, heroin, or even a prescription that doesn’t belong to you, you will face the courts and a potential jail term. The specific charge and the potential penalty depends on several factors.
Generally, if you are caught with drugs containing opiates like cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, or methamphetamine, you will be charged with a class C felony. This crime carries up to $5,000 in fines and 5 years in prison. While crack cocaine is sometimes charged as a misdemeanor because it has a lower base cocaine concentration, it’s considered a Class C felony if there is any history of drug crimes on your record.
Other drug possession charges are classified as misdemeanors. These, like possessing a prescription drug that wasn’t given to you by your doctor, carry a potential $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.
Facing drug possession charges is something that shouldn’t be handled alone. We can put you in touch with a local defense lawyer that may be able to help.