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article imageMarijuana, same-sex marriage initiatives pass in several states

By Greta McClain     Nov 7, 2012 in Politics
Although the media has focused mainly on the Presidential election, several state initiatives regarding same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana are also making news.
On Tuesday, voters in Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington State all voted on the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage. Both Maine and Maryland passed the measures, becoming the first states to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Those laws however were enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings. Thirty-two other states who have put similar measures to a popular vote have voted to defeat the measure.
Maine was the first state to collect the required number of signatures to place a same-sex marriage initiative on the ballot.
Matt McTighe, campaign manager for the Mainers United for Marriage, told Boston.com:
‘‘Over the years, we've had a chance to change hearts and minds, and we've now made history here.’’
The Maine law is set to go into effect no later then January 4, 2013. The Maryland law goes into effect January 1, 2013.
Chad Griffin, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, told the New York Times:
"For the first time, voters in Maine and Maryland voted to allow loving couples to make lifelong commitments through marriage - forever taking away the right-wing talking point that marriage equality couldn't win on the ballot."
In Colorado, Amendment 64, an amendment which allow anyone over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, passed according to Coloradan.com. More than 300 Colorado doctors publicly supported the amendment.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told voters:
"The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don't break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly."
Washington's Initiative 502 would also legalize and regulate the production, possession and distribution of cannabis for persons age 21 and older according to CNN. The initiative also calls for a 25% tax rate when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer, and again when the retailer sells it to the customer. Some estimates show that the taxes could generate up to $500 million in new revenue for the state. Voters passed the initiative and it will go into effect on December 6, 2012.
A measure in Oregon that would have legalized marijuana failed.
More about Election 2012, 2012 election, state initiatives, Election, Popular vote
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