Marijuana has been used and consumed for thousands of years, but Maine has a shorter history with the plant that dates back to 1913. During this time, the United States was part of a larger trend of prohibiting marijuana, which Maine quickly joined in 1913 when it banned the drug in the state completely. Maine’s reputation soon changed though, as it is now known as a pioneer in marijuana law because in 1976, Maine decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. During this time, only two other states had decriminalized marijuana, so Maine was leading the way for marijuana legalization.
By 1999, just three years after decriminalizing marijuana, Maine took another step in leading the way toward legalization when it introduced its medical marijuana program. The voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from serious health issues. Then, just ten years after introducing this program, voters again approved a ballot to expand the program to include more patients. Most recently, Maine voters approved an initiative legalizing marijuana for adults and establishing a regulated marijuana market.