Results of Controversial 2012 Election Ballot Measures

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=”font-family:>Voters Decide on Controversial Issues
Source: Jim Baca, “I Voted,”, Oct. 12, 2012
Election Day has come and gone, and residents in many states voted on controversial issues including medical marijuana, gay marriage, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, and GMO foods. The results of those ballot measures appear below.

Gay Marriage: Ballot initiatives involving the legalization of gay marriage came before voters in Maine and Maryland, where they were approved (52.6% – 47.3% and 51.9% – 48.1% respectively), marking the first time that this issue passed via statewide referendum. Similar legislation in the state of Washington is currently leading 51.8% – 48.2%, but as of Nov. 7 has not officially passed. Minnesota voters struck down a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman (52.3% – 47.7%), although state legislation still makes same-sex marriage illegal.

Marijuana: Massachusetts voters legalized medical marijuana use (63% – 37%), while Arkansas voted down similar legislation (51%-49%). Montana voters upheld an existing law that imposes additional restrictions on medical marijuana patients and caregivers (56.5% – 43.5%). Medical marijuana use is now legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado (54.8% – 45.2%) and Washington (55.4% – 44.6%) for people over the age of 21, while similar legislation did not pass in Oregon (54.8% – 45.2%). Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Physician-Assisted Suicide: Massachusetts voters rejected the “Death with Dignity” initiative (51% – 49%), which would have legalized physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Massachusetts will not join Oregon, Washington, and Montana as the fourth state with legal PAS.

Death Penalty: California voters decided to retain the death penalty (52.8% – 47.2%). The state allows the death penalty for first degree murder (with 20 special circumstances) and treason.

GMO Food: California voters also rejected a measure to label genetically modified foods (53.1% – 46.9%) has also presented the 2012 presidential candidates’ views on medical marijuana, gay marriage, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, and GMO food.


Ballotpedia, “Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Amendment 64 (2012),”, Nov. 7, 2012

Bangor Daily News, “2012 General Election Results for Maine,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Los Angeles Times, “California Election Results,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Maryland State Board of Elections, “Unofficial 2012 Presidential General Election Results for All State Questions,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Minnesota Secretary of State, “Results for Constitutional Amendments,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Montana Secretary of State, “Unofficial Results,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Oregon Secretary of State, “State Ballot Measure No. 80,”, Nov. 7, 2012

The Republican, “2012 Election Results,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Today’s THV, “Issue 5: Allow Medical Marijuana,”, Nov. 7, 2012

Washington Secretary of State, “November 6, 2012 General Election Results,”, Nov. 6, 2012