Portland, Maine Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Marijuana Possession

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director November 5, 2013

    Supporters of Portland’s Question 1 claimed victory tonight, celebrating their work to make Portland the first city on the East Coast to legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for adults over 21. Question 1 was approved by about 70% of the vote, with only around 30% voting in opposition.

    “Volunteers have been working tirelessly to make Portland the first city on the East Coast to legalize marijuana for adults, and tonight we celebrate,” said Rep. Diane Russell. “This is truly a victory for science, for common sense and for liberty.”

    Earlier this year, Russell’s bill, “An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana” earned itself 35 co-sponsors, but fell just four votes short in the Maine House of Representatives. Since that time, the Department of Justice has released guidelines allowing states to move forward with regulating marijuana in a similar manner to alcohol. The populist Portland vote is seen as a litmus test of momentum for replacing prohibition with alcohol-style regulation.

    “We already successfully regulate marijuana for medical use and, with tonight’s vote, it’s now clear Mainers are ready to move forward responsibly regulating all adult marijuana sales. We are calling on city officials to respect the will of the voters, and state leaders to get ahead of this issue with a Maine approach to taxing and regulating this commodity, much like we do alcohol,” said Russell. “It’s time to stop rewarding drug cartels and start rewarding responsible business owners, while funding important state priorities with new tax revenue.”

    “We hope this resounding vote in Portland sends a loud and clear message, not just to lawmakers in Augusta, but lawmakers nationwide,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “We the people are ready for marijuana legalization and it is well past time for legislators to listen to their constituents and push for an end to the failed policy of prohibition.”

    NORML and Representative Russell are still working to have statewide marijuana legalization statewide in 2014.

    36 responses to “Portland, Maine Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Marijuana Possession”

    1. Yes 9,921 67%
      No 4,823 33%

      And Now Time to create a NORML Maine Chapter !

      Looking for Maine Team to Join the Cause…

      Interested Please contact us:


    2. Raymond Ford says:

      Congratulations to the people of Portland Maine for their courage, leadership and dedication.

    3. ronald dregan says:


    4. Miles says:

      I’m so jealous of all the states that are slowly but surely making progress towards legalization or decriminalization. Here in Virginia, the leaders won’t even discuss it. Our new Governor won’t even mention the word and the only person, Libertarian Sarvis, who did run for Gov. in favor of legalization got less than 10% of the vote.

      I don’t believe, for one second, that the people of VA don’t want legalization. They just don’t have the intelligence to realize that they don’t have to vote for Republicans and Democrats. IF we could vote directly on the legalization/decriminalization issue I’m almost 100% positive that Virginians would pass it. It’s just so sad that we have to continue to live in fear of incarceration, or worse, for our choice to use a safe substance.

    5. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Smells sweet, yea!

    6. @Miles Don’t get discouraged. I live here in Maine and the entire state felt this way as well( Once ).

      And YES the Portland ME. vote was Huge for us, ( Big WIN ) and at the moment it is just one town/city here in Maine, however since the vote was so overwhelming it goes onto the ballet for the entire state next.

      This will create a domino effect I am sure, once other states see the New taxes it brings to the states, and how much money they actually save trying to stop it, others will follow.

      What else can the US spend $42 billion each year on? Health insurance for kids? Better paid teachers? Money towards the U.S. deficit? It’s will be clear by all soon enough.

      Have you considered Joining a NORML chapter in your area?


      Don’t loose hope, It’s happening, All GREAT things take time, Everyday we are getting closer to the end of Marijuana Prohibition.

    7. Congrats Portland!

      Law Enforcement Against Prohibition can help MAINErs with getting the state completely regulated. We have several speakers in the region. Can some of you Maine folks help us with this effort?
      Contact me at mike.smithson@leap.cc and I’ll show you what just a few hrs each wk will make a difference.

      Well done, folks!

    8. birt says:

      We are awaiting the goodness as well her in Ohio, cmon Ohioans!

    9. Cat Cassie says:

      @Miles Hang in there. Remember we are winning. Its just a matter of time before EVERYONE will be enjoying the freedom of choice that was ment for ALL Americans. Our Government has egg on their faces right now and thats a little hard for them to wash off. But they will wash it off because they have to.