Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Voters Approve State Measures on Marijuana, Gun Control

A cyclist peddles past a DC Cannabis Campaign sign, second from left, in Washington, D.C., Nov. 4, 2014.

Voters in Washington, D.C., and the northwestern state of Oregon have approved measures to legalize marijuana.

The successful ballot initiatives were some of the separate questions on ballots Tuesday as Americans voted for members of the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate and more than half of the nation's state governors.

Ballot initiatives give voters an opportunity to decide on matters such as whether local governments should borrow money to build more roads and schools or if a state should amend its laws on abortion or same-sex marriage.

Oregon's marijuana measure will allow adults to buy and possess the drugs similar to systems set up last year in neighboring Washington state and in Colorado.

In Washington, the U.S. capital, the initiative there allows people age 21 and older to possess and grow marijuana, but not buy it, and is subject to a Congressional review period before going into effect.

Proposal rejected

Meanwhile, voters in the southeastern state of Florida rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Medical marijuana is legal in 23 other states.

The ballot in Washington state Tuesday had two competing gun control initiatives, but voters approved one to expand required background checks for gun sales to include those done online and at gun shows.

Workers in several states will soon see more money in their paychecks after voters chose to raise the minimum wage to $8 per hour in Nebraska and $7.50 an hour in Arkansas.