Supporters of the marijuana referendum celebrate in Portland after the measure passes by a wide margin.
Voters in Portland have made history by making it the first city on the East Coast to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults.
Supporters of the referendum to make recreational pot legal in Maine's largest city spent little money in a campaign that saw no organized opposition. And by 10:00 p.m., the results were showing a lopsided victory.
"We are at over 70 percent! Yes!" shouted David Boyer, of the Maine Marijuana Policy Project, to loud cheers from the crowd on hand.
The measure allows adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot, but it does not set up a method for distribution and it does not allow pot to be used in public places.
Police and health advocates say it will send a bad message to kids and create easier access for them.
But supporters are hoping their decisive victory at the ballot box will send a message to the state and the nation. They say drug laws are outdated and ineffective, and they plan to move forward with a bill to tax and regulate marijuana at the state level and to get other cities and states to follow Portland's lead.
Right: Will Neils lights up a joint to celebrate the passage of Question 1 in Portland.
This story was reported and written by Susan Sharon.
Photos: Susan Sharon