The Latest: Maine legalizes marijuana for recreational use

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2016 2:48 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the Maine election (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Maine voters have approved a ballot question making recreational marijuana legal for adults age 21 or older.

The proposal will allow Maine residents to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, test and sell marijuana and marijuana products. Marijuana will be taxed at 10 percent and subject to local restrictions.

The vote was close, within a fraction of a percentage point. The Associated Press made the call Thursday, two days after Election Day.

Parents groups and some law enforcement organizations opposed the proposal. The proposal also received some scrutiny from members of the medical marijuana community, who fear it will replace the state's medical program.

The statewide approval follows previous votes to legalize pot at the city level in Portland and South Portland in recent years. The city of Lewiston shot down a similar proposal.

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10:09 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A larger-than-expected number of overseas absentee ballots will play a big role in deciding whether marijuana becomes legal in Maine.

The final results in the close race still hadn't been tabulated on Thursday. The secretary of state's office said the biggest remaining bloc of uncounted votes was from more than 4,000 overseas absentee voters.

Unlike other absentee ballots, the overseas ballots are sent straight to Augusta. The 4,066 overseas absentee ballots that were deemed valid were still being counted Thursday.

There were also a couple of small towns that hadn't reported in.

Voters cast ballots on a referendum to potentially legalize recreational marijuana use on Tuesday. Results so far show voters for the proposal holding an edge of less than 1 percent with more than 95 percent of votes counted.

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00:17 a.m.

Maine residents are still waiting to find out whether marijuana will become legal in their state.

Voters cast ballots on a referendum to potentially legalize recreational marijuana use on Tuesday. Results so far show voters for the proposal holding an edge of less than 1 percent.

The race remains too close to call with more than 95 percent of precincts reporting. Opponents of legalization say they're not ready to concede the race, and they are likely to ask for a recount once the results are tabulated.

The proposal would allow people in the state to cultivate, distribute, and sell marijuana and marijuana products. Marijuana would be taxed at 10 percent and subject to local restrictions.

Supporters of legalization say they hope retail marijuana stores will open in 2018.