Voters in Portland, Maine, have chosen overwhelmingly to approve a ballot measure that eliminates all legal penalties for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by people 21 and over. With 80% of the precincts reporting late Tuesday evening, the measure was passing with a hefty 70% of the vote.
Portland is Maine’s largest city. It now becomes the first city on the East Coast to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The victory in Portland will boost efforts to legalize marijuana statewide, either through the state legislature or via an initiative in 2016.
Portland voters approved Question 1, which, in addition to legalizing small amounts for adults, also allows for legal use and for legal possession of pot paraphernalia. The measure bans use in public and allows landlords to bar indoor use by posting non-smoking signs on building entrances.
The measure also puts the city of Portland on record as “supporting taxation and regulation of marijuana by the state of Maine and the federal government.”
Denver and Detroit, as well as other Michigan cities, have passed similar measures. Three more Michigan cities were also voting today on personal marijuana legalization measures.
By Phillip Smith