Pot-Legalization Backers Target 13 States; Foes Cite “Misconceptions”


Buoyed by their success at the polls Tuesday, marijuana backers will try to get the drug fully legalized in 13 more states by 2017, McClatchy Newspapers report. They'd join Colorado and Washington state, which voted last year to allow pot sales for recreational use. The drive to legalize won considerable new momentum on Election Day as voters in three states approved pro-pot measures.

Portland, Maine, became the first East Coast City to legalize marijuana. Colorado approved a 25 percent tax on pot. Voters in the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale decided to remove all penalties for possession. While the measure won easily in Maine's largest city, it may be more difficult for pro-pot forces to win across the state. Legalization backers hope to get the issue on the statewide ballot in 2016. Officials with Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), an opposition group led by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), plan to launch a statewide affiliate to gear up for the vote. “Maine is on the brink of creating a massive marijuana industry that will inevitably target teens and other vulnerable populations,” said Kennedy. “Misconceptions about marijuana are becoming more and more prevalent.”

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