Eastern Washington Loves Pot, Not Marriage Equality

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The Daily Chronic
Yesterday opponents of Referendum 74 conceded to marriage equality's victory in the Evergreen State. But while there's plenty of civil rights goodness to revel in, R74's historic popular vote was still not that popular across the proverbial Cascade Curtain. Instead, Initiative 502 was the one to cross Washington's east/west ideological divide. County maps tell the stark story of how pot beat love at the rural ballot box.

Currently sitting at 51.95 percent approval, Referendum 74 has secured a solid 3.9 point lead over its opposition. While every county contributed votes to that advantage, only eight out of Washington's 39 were able to deliver a majority. Predictably, these populous giants are all crowded around Puget Sound's progressive waters. Skagit and Pierce would have rounded out the gay-friendly encirclement, but fell short of achieving an approval majority by one to three points.The rest of the state--with the exception of Whitman's valiant 48.6 percent pro-74 effort--didn't even come close to a green shade.

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County results for Referendum 74. Counties with majority support for same-sex marriage are in green.

Now, those election results may not surprise most folks familiar with the geography of Washington's voting record, but I-502's returns certainly will. The marijuana legalization measure broke all ideological border conceptions by winning supporter majority in a whopping 20 counties all across the state and racked up 55.31 percent of the popular vote in the process. Clearly, voters on both sides of the mountains had grown weary of the drug war.

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County results for Initiative 502. Counties with majority support for the marijuana legalization are in green.

While the whole of Washington took a huge leap towards social progress on Tuesday, individual counties tell a more complicated story. Unfortunately, that tale seems to welcome cannabis more than same-sex love.

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