Maine Victory on Medical Marijuana Use Comes as Feds Decide Not to Use Prosecutions to Frustrate Local Laws

Maine's voters approved a measure by a margin of 59% to 41% to make it the fifth state to allow retail pot dispensaries, expanding its existing ten year-old medical marijuana law.  Maine now joins California, Colorado, New Mexico and Rhode Island which allow for places where medical marijuana patients can legally buy pot. Unlike California's more free-wheeling system, Maine law will require that dispensaries be licensed by the state and more narrowly defines medical conditions for which patients can be prescribed pot.

On the Ballot: Defeating TABOR, Defending Relationship Equality Laws & A Roundup of Other Ballot Issues

Along with giving a roundup of the range of initiatives on the ballot in this off-year election, this Dispatch will give special focus to the campaigns against TABOR and defending relationship equality laws.

Health Insurer Sues Maine for Guaranteed Profits

A story from Maine offers up another reason why we need the choice of a public health insurance option, and it's a doozy.  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine, a subsidiary of the insurance giant Wellpoint, is suing the State of Maine because the insurance commissioner refused to approve its request for a rate increase of 18.5% for its individual products, which included a guaranteed 3% profit. Commissioner Mila Koffman found Anthem's request "excessive" and approved a 10.9% average increase in premiums.