Portland voters strongly endorse pot legalization

November 7th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND, Maine — In a vote that marijuana advocates hope is a preview of a statewide campaign in 2016, Portland residents supported by a wide margin a measure that will legalize marijuana possession in Maine’s largest city.

With all 12 of the city’s precincts reporting just before 10:30 p.m., the legalization referendum held a 9,921-4,823 advantage. That represented more than 67 percent in favor of the measure. The Bangor Daily News called the race just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“We’ve had dozens of volunteers on the street today, going into neighborhoods, [handing out literature], finding voters, bringing them to the polls,” said Portland City Councilor David Marshall, one of the key organizers of the legalization effort. “We had heavier voter turnout than expected in Portland … which was a really good sign, because our whole goal was to get the people who generally don’t vote in these off-year elections out to the polls in order to support this.”

The referendum was watched closely not only across the state of Maine, but across the country as well, as supporters sought to establish an East Coast beachhead after successful pot legalization efforts in Washington state and Colorado.

David Boyer, Maine political director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, has said he hopes Portland will play a similar role here as Denver did in Colorado. The passage of a local measure legalizing recreational use of marijuana in Colorado’s largest city in 2005 was seen as a harbinger of the statewide legalization last year.

The Portland effort also comes

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/11/05/news/portland/early-returns-show-portland-strongly-backing-pot-legalization/