Mass. Voters Legalize Marijuana, Reject Charter School Proposal

sk_chat-yar-cent-voting-locations_11-08-16-20BOSTON (AP) – Voters have approved a ballot measure making Massachusetts the first state in the eastern U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Tuesday’s approval marks a major national victory for proponents of legalized marijuana. Currently, using the drug recreationally is legal only in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

The statewide referendum passed despite opposition from top elected officials including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Many business and religious leaders also had come out strongly against legalization.

Massachusetts voters meanwhile said no to Question 2,which would have expanded the number of charter schools in the Bay State by up to a dozen a year.

Proponents had expressed disappointment earlier Tuesday evening.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker had campaigned for the referendum. Baker says in a statement that he’s proud of those who fought to create more charter schools in the state “to provide more education choices for students stuck in struggling districts.”

Opponents had argued that the measure would have drained resources away from traditional public schools.

Voters also approved Question 3, a ban on the sale of eggs and other food products that come from farms where animals are confined to overly restrictive cages.

They defeated Question 1which would have authorized the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to license a second slots parlor.

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