Portland, Maine, Three Towns in Michigan Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

All by healthy margins


Pete Briones/Foter.com

Voters in Maine's largest city and in Michigan's state capital, Lansing, as well as Ferndale and Jackson have all approved measures that legalize the recreational use of marijuana in their jurisdictions. In Lansing, the measure passed with 62 percent of the vote—it prohibits the city from regulating marijuana in amounts under an ounce that is possessed or used on private property. Lansing's mayor, Virg Bernero, supported the initiative, pointing out that the "public is far ahead of most politicians on this issue."

Ferndale's measure passed even more resoundingly, with 69 percent voting in favor. It had been opposed by nearly all of the city's political establishment, and this summer the local police targeted one of the main organizers of the initiative, charging him with "marijuana delivery" and even suggesting where he lives could render the initiative void even if it passed.  

Jackson's effort to decriminalize marijuana passed with about 61 percent of the vote.

Portland's initiative, meanwhile, decriminalized possession of marijuana in amounts up to 2.5 ounces but also banned its use in many public places. Legislators in Maine have been trying to legalize marijuana statewide. No state has yet legalized marijuana via its legislature, though several states, including Maine, could join Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana next, especially on the 2014 ballot.

Medical marijuana is notionally legal in Michigan and Maine already.