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US 2012

Two states vote to legalise gay marriage - while two more say Yes to marijuana

Maine and Maryland became the first US states to approve gay marriage by popular vote.

TWO US STATES have voted to legalise same sex marriage while another two voted to pave the way for the legalisation of marijuana.

In some of the most socially liberal votes seen across the US yesterday, voters in Maine and Maryland look set to become the first US states to approve gay marriage by popular vote. Lawmakers in six other states have already passed laws to allow same sex marriage but this was the first time voters had approved the measure.

A similar vote in Washington state also looks likely to pass.

“Tonight, we made history,” Maryland governor Martin O’Malley tweeted as the result became clear. “By voting for marriage equality, the people of our State affirmed that we are One Maryland & we’re all in this together”.

Maine voted 53 per cent in favour with 47 per cent against. Both Washington and Maryland are projected by CNN to vote 52 per cent in favour with 48 per cent against, based on partial results.

Separately, voters in both Colorado and Washington voted to allow the use of marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal purposes. However the drug remains illegal under federal law.

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” said Democratic governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper on his Facebook page. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos… too quickly”.

The marijuana issue is likely to meet legal challenges very quickly.

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