There has been a lot of celebrating in marijuana communities across America this last week. Prior to the 2016 Election there were four legal states (and D.C.!), but after the dust settled on Election Day 2016, that list grew as Nevada, California, and Massachusetts were added to list of legal states. Maine was also added to the list on election night, with local media declaring Question 1 as passing. The Associated Press also declared Maine as voting to legalize marijuana.
However, the vote passed by a razor thin margin, and that has led marijuana opponents to demanding a recount of votes. Per the Washington Post:
Legal marijuana opponents in Maine have mounted a challenge against the outcome of a referendum that likely saw the state narrowly approve recreational weed this week.
Following two days of counting ballots, the Associated Press and Portland Press Herald said Thursday that the referendum, Question 1, had passed by a fraction of a percentage point, effectively allowing adults in Maine to legally own and grow marijuana for non-medical reasons. Opponents aren’t convinced by their tally, however, and are officially gathering signatures in an effort to ensure a recount takes place.
The “No on 1” campaign has until 5 p.m. next Wednesday to collect 100 signatures in order for the Secretary of State’s office to reconsider the results and authorize a recount. Should they succeed, then a setting on an official tally could potentially take weeks, Portland’s WCHS reported Friday.
According to the most recent tally of votes, the ‘yes’ side received 381,060 votes, and the ‘no’ side received 376,658. Admittedly, that is not a wide margin of victory. However, I don’t see an error of over 4,000 votes being found. I personally don’t expect the legalization law to be overturned. However, anything is possible, so this is a situation worth monitoring.