The marijuana legalization initiative passed by a margin of just under 4,000 votes, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Wednesday in making the final tally official.

The announcement came four days after legalization opponents called off a recount of Question 1. The question had passed on Election Day by 4,073 votes.

During the two-week recount, elections division staff and volunteers recounted ballots from 42 municipalities representing 30 percent of the nearly 760,000 votes cast statewide.

Recount results showed the “yes” side winning by 3,995 votes, Dunlap said. Both campaigns signed off on the final tally Tuesday.

The results will be sent to Gov. Paul LePage, who has 10 days to sign a proclamation certifying them. The law goes into effect 30 days after the proclamation is issued.

The governor indicated this week that he plans to seek legal advice before signing the proclamation. During a radio interview Tuesday, LePage said he wanted to find out if he’d be breaking his oath of office by signing it because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.


LePage’s communications office has declined to elaborate on the governor’s comments.

Maine was one of four states that voted last month to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. Eight states and Washington, D.C., now have voted to legalize recreational cannabis use.

The Marijuana Legalization Act proposes to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine. Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, grow their own plants and buy marijuana from licensed retail stores. The proposal also allows marijuana social clubs in municipalities that approve them and places a 10 percent tax on marijuana sales.


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