Of all the marijuana legalization votes on Election Night 2016, none were closer than the battle over Question 1 in Maine. It was a battle that continued for more than a month after the votes were cast; but it is a battle that has finally come to an end.
After seeing that the recount was not going to go their way, opponents of Question 1 conceded defeat. “We promised folks that if we came to a point where we could not see any chance of reversing the result, we would not drag the process out,” said Newell Augur, legal counsel for No on 1. “We are satisfied that the count and the result are accurate.”
So Maine will officially join the list of states that have legalized marijuana for adult use. The possession limit there will be higher than in other states (2.5 ounces) and the new law allows for the regulation of “social clubs” where marijuana may be brought and either vaped or eaten in edible form, with smoking possibly done in an outdoor area on the premises.
Question 1 in Maine may not have gotten as much attention as legalization measures in places like California or Nevada or Florida (for medical purposes), but the freedom gained by cannabis users there is just as important as it is anywhere else.
Each state that legalizes cannabis for adult use is another example of why legalization is far superior to prohibition. Maybe Maine will lead to future legalization efforts trying for bigger possession limits and social clubs themselves. Or maybe the very close vote will serve as a warning to those who attempt too much too soon.
In any case, there is now one less state in the column of cannabis prohibition and that’s a good thing.