AUGUSTA, Maine — The campaign that opposed a referendum seeking to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine abandoned its recount effort Saturday afternoon, clearing the way for Maine to become the latest state to allow use of the drug for nonmedical purposes.
The citizen-initiated legalization effort appeared as Question 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot. Unofficial results showed the question winning by less than 1 percentage point, the closest contest on a ballot that included four other citizen-initiated referendums and a bond question.
That narrow margin prompted opponents of legalization — organized as Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities — to ask the secretary of state to conduct a statewide recount.
After a weekslong process that required ballots from all over the state to be collected and delivered to Augusta, the recount began earlier this month.
That was a squeaker! Maine now joins Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Washington, Alaska, and Nevada in the legal cannabis market.Ballot examination initially focused on precincts in the state’s larger cities, with a second phase of the recount zeroing in on other selected precincts. The recount recessed Friday with plans to resume in January 2017.
However, Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities formally requested Saturday that the secretary of state’s office end the process.