Luckily, the Pine Tree State advocates refused to give up and, after a long legal battle, 11,305 signatures were revalidated, just barely earning enough signatures to win a spot on the ballot. When Election Day finally came, the initiative won by just 4,000 votes, causing anti-marijuana prohibitionists to call for a recount to the tune of $500,000 from the taxpayers. The recount began, but with proponents still in the lead by the time counters called it quits for the holidays, Maine's legalization opponents finally admitted defeat. You've come a long way, baby, but you made it!
Massachusetts' legalization campaign was the one we were all betting against. After an excruciatingly long struggle to implement a struggling medical marijuana program, as well as a fully funded opposition campaign headed up by the governor, the mayor of Boston, and the Massachusetts attorney general, the initiative seemed like a gamble at best. Massachusetts has long had widespread support for legalization in addition to medical marijuana, but support from the public does not necessarily translate into policy change -- just look at New York's struggling medical program.