marijuana bush at sunset

Four States Vote for Recreational Marijuana Use

Recreational marijuana was on the ballot in five states on Tuesday, and four voted yes. Voters in Maine, California, Massachusetts and Nevada passed a measure that legalizes recreational use of marijuana.

Arizona rejected the legalization of recreational pot.

Under the new initiative, adults can use grow a few plants and use marijuana. The legislation also implements regulations for a commercial pot market.

The states join a growing list of states looking to pave the way for ending the federal marijuana prohibition.

Three other states approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes: Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota.

While President Obama has been vocal about his opposition to legal marijuana, he has not interfered with state policies that go against federal law.

Under the Controlled Substance Abuse Act, all marijuana use is prohibited, including for medical use. The Justice Department has thus far respected state decisions to legalize the drug.

Colorado and Washington state were the first to take the plunge and voted to legalize recreational use in 2012. Oregon and Alaska passed similar laws in 2014.

Voters in Maine narrowly passed the legislation on Tuesday. The race was so close it took officials two days to tally up the votes. Those who are opposed to legalization are calling for a recount.

  • Residents of Maine over the age of 21 will now be able to use up to 2-1/2 ounces of pot. Marijuana shops and social clubs will now be permitted to open in the state.
  • In Massachusetts, residents over the age of 21 can possess under 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes, and one ounce in public. Adults can grow up to six plants.
  • In Nevada, adults can also grow up to six plants for their own personal use, provided the plants are kept in a locked, enclosed area. Adults will be fined for growing pot plants in public view. A 15% excise tax will be imposed on pot sales, and the money will be put towards education and regulation of the drug.