Maine Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
Some election results are known immediately. Some take a little longer, like the nailbiter of a finish between Maggie Hassan and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire that was confirmed late yesterday. And some come out two full days after the completion of the election. Yes, Maine voters have finally officially chosen to legalize recreational marijuana use, according to the Associated Press, which just confirmed the results.
Just how close were they? The AP says the difference was “within a fraction of a percentage point.” Residents of the state will now have the right to “cultivate, manufacture, distribute, test and sell marijuana and marijuana products.” A tax rate of 10 percent will be placed on all marijuana products. Part of the delay in getting a final answer on the initiative had to do with a “larger-than-expected number of overseas absentee ballots,” which vote counters in Augusta had to go through.
The state now joins Massachusetts, California, and Nevada in legalizing recreational marijuana use in 2016. It was a big year for marijuana advocates generally, with medicinal marijuana usage getting the OK in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas, while Montana rolled back some restrictions on it.
Massachusetts was slightly more decisive about legalizing recreational pot use, although it was the final ballot question result to be announced following voting on Tuesday. The results in Maine were so close that advocacy groups that had pushed for a “no” vote on the initiative may demand a recount, according to the Press Herald.