Maine and Maryland became the first US states to approve same-sex marriage in a public ballot taken alongside the presidential election.
They will become the seventh and eighth states to legalise gay marriage, but 32 states have previously rejected it in public votes.
In Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, although the it's still illegal under statute law.
And voters in Colorado and Washington supported measures to enable people to possess and use marijuana. A similar motion was defeated in Oregon.
The move will set up a showdown with the federal government which still completely outlaws the drug for recreational use.
Massachusetts became the 18th state to allow medicinal use of the drug, a change which has been rejected by Arkansas.
Michigan voters rejected a first-of-its-kind initiative to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.
The move had been promoted by trade unionists in the Protecting Working Families campaign.
It decried the loss as down to a $32 million (£20m) corporate campaign "lying to voters to confuse them."
Campaigners were at least buoyed by the repeal of the emergency manager law allowing officials to scrap public-sector bargaining agreements.
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