Massachusetts voters legalize medical marijuana

By Jonathan Terbush
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 0:00 EDT
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A marijuana field. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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As expected, Massachusetts voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure to make medical marijuana legal in the state.

By early Tuesday night, with around half of all ballots counted, sixty-three percent of voters had approved of the legalization, prompting forecasters to call the contest two hours after polls closed. The vote makes Massachusetts the eighteenth state to legalize medical marijuana.

Every state in New England except New Hampshire has now voted for some form of marijuana legalization. In 2008, Massachusetts became one of the first states to decriminalize possession of marijuana when voters approved a measure doing just that in 2008.

The law allows patients to obtain marijuana with a doctor’s prescription, and to receive up to a 60 day supply.

Opponents of the law struggled to craft a coherent campaign message, and ran what critics called a dysfunctional campaign. In the most embarrassing instance, opponents forgot to register the domain name for the website they touted as a source of information explaining why to vote against decriminalization. Pranksters got ahold of the domain first, and then loaded it with fake, funny facts about marijuana.

Also on Tuesday, Colorado became the first state in the nation to decriminalize recreational use and sale of marijuana.

Jonathan Terbush
Jonathan Terbush
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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