Election 2012 gives green light to same-sex marriage, marijuana usage
November 8, 2012
Even though Tuesday’s election focused mostly on the presidential race, it also brought a series of historic state ballot initiatives that included the legalization of same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana usage.
Marriage equality supporters saw progress in four states. Maine, Maryland and Washington joined the ranks of New York and six other states by voting to fully legalize same-sex marriage. Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.
Natalie Briggs, an LSP freshman who voted in Minnesota by absentee ballot, said she was excited by the decision the voters made in her state.
“I’m happy that many of my friends won’t face discrimination should they choose to marry the person they love in Minnesota,” Briggs said. “This is a really important victory for my community and my state, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”
Emma Lindsay, a sophomore at Bates College in Maine, agreed. Lindsay said she is optimistic about what this ballot initiative could mean for the future of marriage equality.
“It was a long-time coming here, and hopefully Maine will set a precedent for other states who are on the fence about legalizing same-sex marriage,” Lindsay said.
Colorado and Washington also became the first states to approve the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. The U.S. Justice Department said it is reviewing the initiatives but did not comment on how it would proceed. In both states, marijuana users must be at least 21 years old and can only legally purchase marijuana from licensed retailers, whose businesses are subject to state taxation and regulation.
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