As you may have read in our election coverage article about Maine and it’s legalization measure, it wasn’t one that we could call on election night. In fact, the opposition for Question 1 just finally dropped their request for a recount just this past Saturday, December 16th.
The recount was 2 weeks into the process and they had counted about 1/5th of the total number of ballots so far. The recount that had been conducted so far showed that the tally would not change significantly and the “yes” votes still seemed to have it.
According to the Press Herald:
"Unofficial results of the vote released on Election Day showed the measure passed by 4,073 votes, 381,692 to 377,619. The anti-legalization campaign gave notice to the director of the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections on Saturday afternoon to end the recount, which was on hold for a holiday break until January. Under the measure, the Legislature has nine months to establish rules to deal with such issues as child-proof packaging, restricting advertising to minors, and licensing.
Officials on both sides of the recount were critical of their opponents during the process, with Yes on 1 accusing opponents of slowing down the recount by not providing enough volunteers. No on 1 criticized legalization proponents of rushing to enact the law."
This was expected to be a very costly process, not just monetarily but also in terms of time of state employees and volunteers. I am so glad the decision was made to stop the recount so that cannabis advocates in Maine can celebrate...finally!
While Maine legalized medical marijuana in 1999, voters’ approval of Question 1 will make it legal for adults to possess up to 2½ ounces of marijuana, grow a limited number of plants and buy marijuana at licensed retail stores.
Now that we can say so for certain, Maine is one of 4 states – including – that legalized marijuana last month. Others who legalized cannabis for recreational/adult use sales included Massachusetts, California and Nevada.