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Ballot initiatives: Pot legalized in MA, NV; California passes gun restriction

A vendor weighs buds for card-carrying medical marijuana patients attending Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary.
Frederic J. Brown | Getty Images
A vendor weighs buds for card-carrying medical marijuana patients attending Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary.

Pot is about to be legal in Massachusetts and Nevada, and a California measure to allow recreational use was leading, according to projections from NBC News.

They were three of five states with legalization measures for recreational use on Tuesday's ballot, while proposals addressing medical marijuana were voted on in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota.

If all the proposals are victorious, about 75 million people, or over 23 percent of the U.S. population, will live in states where recreational pot use is allowed, according to Reuters.

In Massachusetts, the regulation applies to the use, distribution and cultivation of marijuana for residents who are at least 21 years old.

Voters in Nevada approved the recreational use of an ounce or less of marijuana, with the same age restrictions as Massachusetts. Nevada previously passed medical marijuana legislation.

California residents voted on the right to use pot on a recreational basis.

With 43 percent of precincts counted, the measure was leading by 56 to 45 percent, according to NBC News.

On the same side of the country, significant measures passed on Tuesday, particularly focused on gun control.

Voters in California approved Proposition 63, making it harder to buy large-capacity ammunition magazines. Purchases would require a permit, and the measure speeds up implementation of a rule that keeps residents from buying the ammo out of state and bringing it back.

In Washington state, residents voted to restrict access of firearms to people deemed by a court to be a threat to themselves or others. The top donor in support of the initiative was Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.

Washington was also one of several states to approve an increase in the minimum wage. The initiative lifts the wage floor from $9.47 to $13.50 by 2020 and mandates that employers offer paid sick leave.

Voters in Arizona, Colorado and Maine passed similar measures, according to NBC projections.

Correction: This story was revised to correct that NBC News has not called the race in California for legalization of recreational use of marijuana.