Maine and Maryland voters approve same-sex marriage

Proponents of same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana use gained ground in ballot initiatives across the United States Tuesday.

The northeastern state of Maine and the mid-Atlantic state of Maryland became the first two states to approve gay marriage through a popular vote. Six U.S. states and Washington, D.C. allow gay marriage, but in their cases, legalization came through lawmakers or the courts.

The states of Washington and Colorado approved legalizing the production, sale, and possession of marijuana for recreational use. But those approvals put the states at odds with the federal government which still outlaws the drug.

In total, U.S. voters were weighing more than 170 ballot initiatives across the 50 U.S. states.

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