How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?

Harm Reduction

Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?

  • YES

Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?

  • NO

Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?

  • NO

Does the state have legal methadone access?

  • YES


Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?

  • YES

Is there a government-regulated distribution system for medical marijuana?

  • NO

More information on medical marijuana:

What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?

Criminal Justice

How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year? 

  • 5,626

What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?

  • Total population (2011): white: 95.4%, black: 1.7%.
    Drug arrests (2011): 94.9% white, 4.4% black.

What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?

  • Unrestricted: Convicted felons may vote by absentee ballot while in prison. 

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor LePage's Veto of Life-Saving Naloxone Legislation

LePage Implied Drug User Lives Not Worth $70
Maine Joins List of Over 30 States Allowing for Sale of Overdose Antidote Without Prescription

Over two-thirds of the Maine legislature voted today to override two harm reduction bills vetoed by Governor Paul LePage -- LD1552, a bill that would provide public funding for syringe exchange and expand syringe access, and LD 1547, legislation to allow access to the life-saving overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.


Jerónimo Saldaña (212) 613-8074
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Maine Takes Two Big Steps Toward Decriminalizing Drug Use

State Enacts New Laws to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession and to Implement Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Programs

The Maine legislature has enacted two bills this session that will greatly advance treating drug use as a public health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. Earlier today, LD 1554 passed into law without the governor’s signature, and will make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Under the law, possession of less than 200 mg of heroin will be no longer be charged as a felony.


Jerónimo Saldaña (212) 613-8074

Maine Governor Vetoes Legislation Seeking to Increase Access to Life-saving Overdose Antidote Naloxone

Implies Saving Lives Perpetuates Addiction and It Is Better to Let People Die

Over 30 States Currently Allow for Sale of Overdose Antidote Without Prescription.

Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed legislation this week that would have allowed access to the life-saving overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription. Explaining his veto,  LePage wrote “naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.” Every state in the nation, with the exception of five, have either passed or are in the process of passing naloxone access legislation, and thirty states currently allow for sales of the overdose antidote without a prescription.


Jerónimo Saldaña (212) 613-8074
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Poll: Maine Voters Oppose Attorney General's Punitive Drug Policies, Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession and Treating Drugs as a Health Issue

Findings Come as Legislature Considers Bills Increasing Penalties for Drug Possession and Expanding Syringe Exchange Programs

Results Similar to Poll in New Hampshire Which Also Fund Majority Support for Drug Decriminalization

A substantial majority of Maine voters support decriminalizing drug possession, according to a survey conducted over the weekend by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the Drug Policy Alliance. 64 percent of voters in Maine think people caught with a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use should be evaluated for drug issues, offered treatment but not be arrested or face any jail time. 71% say substantially reducing incarceration is somewhat or very important to them.


Bill Piper (202) 669-6430
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Maine Considering Legislation Increasing Penalties for Drug Possession, Escalating Drug War as Rest of Country Adopts Reforms

Advocates Say Increasing Penalties Will Frighten People Away from Seeking Treatment, Increase Incarceration, and Exacerbate Racial Disparities and the "New Jim Crow"

Today the Maine Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on legislation backed by the Attorney General that could roll back groundbreaking reforms passed last session that reduced drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor. The proposed legislation (LD 1554) would make possession of 30 milligrams (often less than one single pill) or more of prescription opioids and any amount of certain other drugs into felony offenses- continuing the criminalization of drug users and wasting scarce resources on incarceration instead of treatment and prevention.


Bill Piper: (202) 669-6430
Jerónimo Saldaña: (212) 613-8074
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