California votes to legalize recreational marijuana; Colorado voters back assisted suicide

Voters in California and two other states approved the recreational use of marijuana Tuesday, in a big boost to the campaign to end the drug's national prohibition.

Voters across the nation decided more than 150 statewide ballot measures addressing an array of volatile issues, including gun control, euthanasia and raising the minimum wage.

The California initiative allows adults over 21 to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six plants. Massachusetts and Nevada voters passed similar measures, while Arizona voters rejected legalization.

A measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine for adults over 21 was narrowly leading with 73 percent of precincts reporting.

Elsewhere, Colorado voters overwhelmingly supported legalizing assisted suicide Tuesday, but emphatically rejected the creation of a statewide singlepayer healthcare system.

Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment making the state the first in the South with a full-scale medical marijuana program. The measure needed 60 percent support to prevail.

Voters in Arkansas and North Dakota also opted to permit marijuana for medical purposes.

Voters in Arizona, Colorado and Maine approved phased-in $12 minimum hourly wages by 2020.

In Washington state, voters approved raising the minimum wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

California voters approved tightening what were already some of the nation's toughest gun control laws. They overwhelmingly backed Proposition 63, which outlaws possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, requires permits to buy ammunition and extends California's unique program that allows authorities to seize firearms from owners who bought guns legally but are no longer allowed to own them.

Nevada voters approved requring background checks on nearly all gun sales and transfers, while a similar measure was narrowly trailing in Maine with approximately three-quarters of the vote in.

A group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent millions promoting those measures, which supporters said would close gaps in the federal system that allow felons, domestic abusers and the mentally ill to buy firearms from private sellers at gun shows and online without a background check.

Washington state voters also approved a ballot measure that would allow judges to issue orders temporarily seizing guns from individuals who are deemed a threat.

On the municipal level, the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif. and Boulder, Colo. voted to levy a tax on soda and other sugary drinks. They followed in the footsteps of Berkeley, Calif., Philadelphia, and Chicago, cities which have approved similar legislation since 2014.

In all, California led the pack with 17 ballot questions, including one that would require actors in porn movies to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Another would ban single-use plastic grocery bags.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.