Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election 2012: Landmark Votes in Same-Sex Marriage, Pot Legalization

Big changes in store for Washington State

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Voters on opposite sides of the country took up two of the most divisive social issues of our times on Election Day: same-sex marriage and legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

The states of Maine and Maryland broke a 32-state streak (including Idaho) dating back to 1998, in which gay marriage had been rebuffed by every state that held a vote on it. Maine and Maryland are now set to become the seventh and eighth states in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Washington state is also reportedly on track to approve gay marriage. With the Washington vote count still incomplete, Washington's Referendeum 74 was ahead with 52 percent of the vote. If it's ultimately successful, same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Washington as early as Thursday, Dec. 6.

Additionally, Minnesota voters were divided almost 50/50 on an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in the state's constitution (similar to Idaho).

Meanwhile, voters in Washington and Colorado appear to have said "yes" on measures that would see the legalization of pot sales to adults, without the need for a doctor's prescription. Additionally, voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved a measure to allow the use of medical marijuana.

Oregon appeared to have defeated a similar measure to those passed in Washington and Colorado. Arkansas' medical marijuana initiative also was defeated.

NBC News reports that 17 states and the District of Columbia already have laws allowing for the medical use of marijuana, according to the National Council of Legislatures.

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