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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Supporters of legalized marijuana won the Portland vote, now they're pushing for statewide approval.

This morning they announced the formation of a new coalition called the Maine Approach.

The group is led by State Representative Diane Russell. She is sponsor of a bill that would regulate the growth and sale of marijuana statewide. The proposal gets its first test on Thursday. It needs6 out of10 votes from the Legislative Council to be put before lawmakers in the upcoming session. 67-percent of voters supported a measure legalizing possession of marijuana in Portland on election day. Russell says that's a strong indication that people have changed their views on prohibition.

"This wasn't just a landslide victory, this was a clear rebuke of the current policy and it was a clear statement that people are ready to tax and regulate marijuana like the commodity that it already is", said Russell, (D) Portland.

The coalition includes a former school superintendent who says legalizing marijuana for adults will help keep it out of the hands of young people.

"I'm telling kids like cigarettesthat you shouldn't be doing it, you shouldn't be doing it", said Denny Gallaudet, former Superintendent of Schools in Richmond.

Representatives of a teen anti-substance abuse group disagree, saying statewide legalization will make pot more available and give young people greater access to it.

"I would respectfully disagree given the fact that 65% of youth are already reporting easy access to alcohol which is already taxed and regulated", said Jo Morrissey of 21 Reasons.

Voters in the states of Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana through referendums. An attempt to send the question out to Maine voters fell four votes short in the Maine House last year but lost by a much wider margin in the Senate.

This morning they announced the formation of a new coalition called the Maine Approach.This morning they announced the formation of a new coalition called the Maine Approach.This morning they announced the formation of a new coalition called the Maine Approach.