Voters in Maine's largest city tonight appear on the verge of approving a measure making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 2-and-a-half ounces of marijuana.
Buying or selling marijuana, or using it in public places, would remain illegal. At this hour it's leading 70 percent to 30 percent with partial results from eight of 12 precincts. The Bangor Daily News has projected the measure to pass.
The vote in Portland comes a year after Washington and Colorado voters passed statewide ballot questions legalizing possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults 21 and over.
Supporters said that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and that a majority of Americans now support legalizing the recreational use of pot.
But critics maintained that marijuana use carries with it a number of health risks, and that legalizing it sends a bad message to youths.
The measure is largely symbolic because it won't override state and federal laws.
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Above: Will Neils lights up a joint in celebration of the apparant passage of Question 1 in Portland.
Photo: Susan Sharon