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Massachusetts Voters Legalize Marijuana; Maine Too Close to Call

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The marijuana legalization movement scored its biggest victory yet Tuesday as voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot, making the drug fully legal in the nation's most populous state and giving it a toehold in the densely populated Northeast.

Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana measures.

A preliminary exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research showed the proposal passed handily in California.

California's vote makes the use and sale of recreational cannabis legal along the entire West Coast and gives legalization advocates powerful momentum. Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi to allow recreational use.

California was the first state to approve medical marijuana two decades ago. It was among five states weighing whether to permit pot for adults for recreational purposes. The other states were Arizona, which defeated the idea, and Maine, where the question remained undecided early Wednesday.

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