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Marijuana Advocates Hope Maine Goes Legal Next.

Marijuana advocates want to finally take their legalization drive — thus far the province of western states — to the Northeast, and they say the first state to do it here might be Maine.

The Pine Tree State has a long history with cannabis ? Maine voters approved medical marijuana legalization 15 years ago, becoming the first state to do so in New England. Now, national marijuana advocates say, the state represents a chance for pro-marijuana forces to get a toe-hold in the northeastern states they have long coveted.

Supporters of marijuana legalization say part of their focus on Maine is schematic — the ease of Maine’s citizen-led public ballot initiative process makes it a more viable target than states where laws can only be changed through complicated state legislative battles. Pro-legalization advocates also cite a pair of recent victories in municipal legalization drives — Portland, the state’s largest city, in 2013 and South Portland, its fourth largest, this month.

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