Pot legalization effort moves eastward to Maine

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Associated Press

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 19 at 10:05 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Advocates of recreational marijuana use are looking to an upcoming vote in Maine as an indicator of whether the East Coast is ready to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington by legalizing cannabis.

Voters in Portland are being asked whether they want to make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The November vote in Maine's largest city is being eyed nationally as momentum grows in favor of legalizing pot use.

Supporters say marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and a majority of Americans support legalizing it.

But opponents say pot carries health risks and legalizing it would send youth the wrong message.

Plans are also in the works to introduce legislation in the State House to legalize marijuana statewide.

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