US voters stay left on ballot measures

Other News Materials 5 November 2008 08:56 (UTC +04:00)

Voters in the US states of Michigan and Massachusetts on Tuesday approved medical marijuana initiatives, while those in South Dakota and Colorado rejected draconian limits on abortion, in a further sign of the triumph of centre-left politics in the 2008 election, dpa reported.

Voters in Massachusetts approved a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, making the offence punishable with a citation and a fine of 100 dollars.

In Michigan voters approved the legalization of marijuana.

"Tonight's results represent a sea change," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which backed the Massachusetts and Michigan ballot proposals. "Voters have spectacularly rejected eight years of the most intense government war on marijuana."

In the South Dakota, voters rejected an absolute ban on abortion except for cases of rape, incest and severe threat to the life of the mother. Voters in South Dakota rejected an even stricter proposal two years ago that did not include exceptions for rape and incest.

Colorado also failed in a far-reaching constitutional amendment that would have defined human life as beginning at conception. The adoption of this referendum would have made any abortion illegal and also extended human and property rights to foetuses.