United States

Nov 7, 2012

The other ballots: voters decide on gay marriage, marijuana

It's not just the US president decided today. Voters around the country were asked to consider everything from pot use to gay marriage. Crikey intern Naomi Lim has the latest results.

From legalising pot to cleaning up potty behaviour, voters across America are deciding on a raft of radical social reforms as well as the presidential race for the White House. Marijuana legalisation, gay marriage and assisted suicide are some of the red-hot issues being decided by voters in 38 states. There are 176 such measures on the ballots, an increase from 159 in 2010. Gay rights advocates are confident Maine, Maryland and Washington will vote in favour of ballot measures to legalise same-s-x marriage, and Minnesota will overturn a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution. Early returns in Maryland suggest the ballot initiative in support of gay marriage will be passed and the law banning gay marriage in Maine looks likely to be repealed. With only 408 of 4102 precincts reported, Minnesota also looks likely to widen the definition of marriage from only being between a man and a woman. Washington is likely to become the 33rd state to reject gay marriage in popular votes since 1998. In Colorado, Oregon and Washington, voters were deciding whether to legalise marijuana for recreational use. The Oregon proposal was lagging in pre-election polling, but the Washington and Colorado measures look likely to pass into law. If approved, the measures would set up a direct challenge to federal drug law. Voters in Arkansas, Massachusetts and Montana were voting on medical marijuana referendums, following the passage of similar laws in 17 other states. The measures have received strong support in Massachusetts and Montana. With 52% of the state so far voting no, Arkansas is unlikely to become the first southern state to join that group. With less than half of its precincts reported, Massachusetts could join Oregon and Washington in allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal doses of medication if doctors say they have six months or less to live. From legal dope, to gay whale marriage to being able to bump yourself off, unless somehow Mitt Romney steals this election, it's been a great night for liberals in America.

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5 thoughts on “The other ballots: voters decide on gay marriage, marijuana

  1. Ian

    I couldn’t care less which of the two war mongers won the election but am happy to see that some sensible state ballot initiatives are likely to succeed as noted in this article.

    Anybody know how the California GMO food labeling and the proposal to abolish the death penalty have fared?

    I am also eager to know how the Green Party and other third parties did in the election as I believe unless these alternative voices get a toe hold all will be lost for civilization as we know it. The clock is ticking.

  2. Shaniq'ua Chardonnay

    This aspect of democracy is something I’d like to see Australia doing as well. It’s a good idea.

  3. paddy

    [Washington is likely to become the 33rd state to reject gay marriage in popular votes since 1998.]
    Do you have a link for this outcome?
    I thought it had gone the other way and Washington had endorsed GM.
    According to Wikipedia.
    [Same-sex marriage in Washington state was approved by voters on November 6, 2012 via a referendum, though election results have yet to be officially certified.]

  4. Stevo the Working Twistie

    CA have voted to keep the death penalty, but have also voted to restrict the “three strikes” law to violent and serious offenders. Half a win.

  5. Ian


    It was called Prop 37 and I’ve just looked it up and sadly Monsanto and other big business interests (eg Coke & Pepsi I think) defeated the proposal. It makes me sick.

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