Election Victory - Recreational Pot Use Legalized In Portland, Maine & 3 Michigan Cities

In a landslide victory for legalizing marijuana, voters in Portland, Maine and three cities in Michigan have shown their overwhelming support for legalizing marijuana use.  

The measure was passed in Portland, Maine's largest city, with 67 percent of residents voting to legalize possession of marijuana for recreational use for those aged 21 years and over, Boston Herald reported.

While medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999, the ordinance allows residents to now possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.  However, the new measure does not permit the recreational purchase or sale of marijuana nor its use in public places.  Moreover, it will not override state or federal laws where it is still illegal.

Nonetheless, supporters hope the new passage will spur further efforts to decriminalize recreational marijuana in the state as occurred in Washington and Colorado in November 2012.  

"Most Portlanders, like most Americans, are fed up with our nation's failed marijuana prohibition laws.  We applaud Portland voters for adopting a smarter marijuana policy, and we look forward to working with city officials to ensure it is implemented,” David Boyer, Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a marijuana advocacy group, said in a press release. 

The organization says Maine is one of 10 states it has identified where it intends to support statewide legalization efforts over the coming years, with currently 19 states having legalized medical marijuana.

Meanwhile, more success for pro-legalization forces came on election night in three cities in Michigan which voted on marijuana reform, with Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing all approving measures to legalize recreational marijuana, MLive.com reported

Like Maine, Michigian pot users will still face risks because the state law bars marijuana use and possession unless it's medical marijuana.

Public support for legalization has more than doubled in the United States since the '70s with the latest Gallup poll revealing that for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) favor legalizing the drug.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.