Why Prop. 19 went up in smoke

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Hopes of legalizing marijuana may have gone up in smoke after Prop. 19’s defeat by a slim margin, but proponents are far from giving up. Groups such as Drug Policy Alliance, Just Say Now, and Bay Area proponents are already looking forward to 2012 to score more voters and support. But to win, they’re going to have to find solutions to the challenges they faced in this election.

While proponents are trying to rally people for 2012, others are scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong. Surprisingly, Prop. 19 failed to capture the vote in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, one of the most pot friendly areas of California. According to Mother Jones, the initiative failed there because the growers in the so called Emerald Triangle fear the loss of their own pot heavy economy.

But our neighbors to the north aren’t the only reason why the initiative failed. Government opposition also turned away the vote along with the worry of the Fed, especially Attorney General Eric Holder fighting California on future marijuana issues. People are also speculating on a few other factors such as the small turnout of the younger generation of voters. Even though many are in favor, they did not turn out en masse to show their support and the vote went instead to the older generations.

And of course there was the vocal opposition of the proposition. In a recent post by Ryan Grim on the Huffington Post, the opposition ad campaign verged into paranoia. “A new Chamber of Commerce radio ad warns that in a dystopian, post-legalization world a Californian could be maimed in a car accident caused by a stoned driver and then treated in the hospital by nurses high off their gourds -- all of it perfectly legal if the proposition passes, according to opponents,” wrote Grim.

Even with the loss, proponents are still hopeful for the future and see Prop. 19 as a stepping stone towards a future victory. According to Oaksterdam University Richard Lee, who funded the drive to create Prop. 19, the measure demonstrated a shift in opinions and a trend towards approving legalizing marijuana. “While we didn't bring in enough votes tonight to pass Prop. 19, we know that we have achieved an enormous moral victory, and that there are millions of people across the country who are prepared to help finish the job they started here today when we come back to the polls stronger than ever in 2012," Lee said in a statement following the defeat of the proposition.

Comments

The drug war is a huge fail, although stoner's with their bonged out Ammiano deep thoughts are annoying and wearing, they are not as bad frat drunks when out in public.

The complaints were interesting in a typical no wrong answer type of way.

19 seems to have said that each district could have some of their own laws around legalization, so the anti people made the case that medical pot could be banned in some counties. That argument is a red herring. The authors probably wrote it that way to make it so local jurisdictions could "opt out". If instead the law said that each district had to obey the same laws state wide, then the anti people would be complaining that it would force local areas to put up with drug dealers. Whatever way it was written the anti-side could just make something up to complain about.

I don't want to say the population was duped into voting no, I will leave that type of argument to the "everyone but us is smart" crowd here in SF, but St Obama's DA probably is what killed it.

Lets say Harris loses and 19 wins, down the road republican AG refuses to continue the prop 19 fight to the feds... Now that would be comical.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 05, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

If it failed in Humboldt, it is due to the fact there is much more $ when it is on the black market. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 05, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

Prop 19 was the dumbest idea EVER! Only a pot head who has lost intellect due to wacky tabacky use would think it was a good idea. The image of the local convenience market selling weed was a bit much. The image of people getting stoned on a regular basis and it being legal was a bit much. How would these people like it if their child were to devote their live-waste their live--on marijuana? That alone was enough to make me question Prop 19. The 'war on drugs' is a moral obligation of the state to warn people re dangers of drug addiction. Gee, a warning is not a good idea! Dangers of drug addiction is a news flash! How many meth freaks, heroin addicts, crack heads, vicodin users, pill pushers didn't start with marijuana? Smoking a substance creates addiction almost immediately. Addiction is not easy to get out of. Too many Prop 19 supporters saw something positive that simply is not there. Marijuana fine for those in medical need; as recreational activity, I gotta say no way! Society places a value on people who can sit for hours at a time concentrating on solving a problem; to throw that ability away for a cheap thrill...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 05, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

I guess it's okay then that thousands of people die every year from drunk driving, but that's okay right, because it's legal.

How many worthless mind warped homeless drunks do you think live in our country?

Now to contrast, how many already Illeagaly high people crash their cars every day because they were just too high. ZERO!!! They were just driving too slow, something people should try to do.

Sure you won't be winning a spelling bee anytime soon. But the argument against legalizing it doesnt add up.

If you don't like it don't smoke it but don't knock it till ya try it or at least understand the beneficial impacts of it.

I haven't smoked it in 15 years, primarily because it's illegal. I do miss it's stress relief and if it makes you stupid how did I get into military intel while smoking it. I was high as a Japanese kite while taking the ASVAB military enterance exam. My commander was baffled by test scores and ironically I didn't give a shit. Peace on you!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 12:13 am

don't have a real preference one way or another for any drug.

Posted by matlocl on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 3:00 am

Really? Did they divulge this info while you guys were having deep conversation over dinner?

Did your habitation challenged BFF happen to mention which vice put him in the gutter?

Posted by Philip Inuhoff on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 6:56 am

In the two neighborhoods I spend time in I know the street people.

Posted by matlocl on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

I guess it's okay then that thousands of people die every year from drunk driving, but that's okay right, because it's legal.

How many worthless mind warped homeless drunks do you think live in our country?

Now to contrast, how many already Illeagaly high people crash their cars every day because they were just too high. ZERO!!! They were just driving too slow, something people should try to do.

Sure you won't be winning a spelling bee anytime soon. But the argument against legalizing it doesnt add up.

If you don't like it don't smoke it but don't knock it till ya try it or at least understand the beneficial impacts of it.

I haven't smoked it in 15 years, primarily because it's illegal. I do miss it's stress relief and if it makes you stupid how did I get into military intel while smoking it. I was high as a Japanese kite while taking the ASVAB military enterance exam. My commander was baffled by test scores and ironically I didn't give a shit. Peace on you!

Posted by Humbugh on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 12:16 am

I guess it's okay then that thousands of people die every year from drunk driving, but that's okay right, because it's legal.

How many worthless mind warped homeless drunks do you think live in our country?

Now to contrast, how many already Illeagaly high people crash their cars every day because they were just too high. ZERO!!! They were just driving too slow, something people should try to do.

Sure you won't be winning a spelling bee anytime soon. But the argument against legalizing it doesnt add up.

If you don't like it don't smoke it but don't knock it till ya try it or at least understand the beneficial impacts of it.

I haven't smoked it in 15 years, primarily because it's illegal. I do miss it's stress relief and if it makes you stupid how did I get into military intel while smoking it. I was high as a Japanese kite while taking the ASVAB military enterance exam. My commander was baffled by test scores and ironically I didn't give a shit. Peace on you!

Posted by Humbugh on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 12:18 am

Thats a very progressive like stance you have there.

Posted by matlocl on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 3:12 am

Dude, put down that case of beer and make a coherent argument.

The government only puts out lies and fear tactics on this "reefer madness" issue.
The best proof of this is the Nixon report. It refutes every single reason that the government criminalized it. Let's just suppose you don't take me at my word and you look up the Nixon report and you see I am correct, then you look in the mirror and see your red face while you realize the government brainwashed you.!?

Fear government lies!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Non-user out of state prop 19 supporter on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

Smoking something does not create an addiction almost immediately! I know, I've done weed, like twice! That was the beggining of summer 2010, and I haven't smoked since then!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

the people who cannot control themselves started out on tittie milk and then went on to coca cola, then daddy's stash of booze and then ......................

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

on our side? How do we get people that believe the "refer madness" propaganda to vote for something they are scared of? We know their fears are wrong. People aren't going to suddenly start smoking pot en masse even if its available next to tobacco at the gas station counter. Even if younger folks experiment, that's all that it is. I remember a story from years ago of a 19 year old having to do a five year mandatory minimum jail term for possession of 1/2 an ounce which wrecked her life.

Is the money spent on "the war on drugs" better spent on education of the dangers to have the same effect of non-use?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 12, 2010 @ 8:55 am

Many people already get stoned on a regular basis. Whether or not smoking marijuana is a waste of life is up to the person smoking it. Marijuana is not addictive and smoking a substance is not what causes addiction. Even addiction to nicotine, a substance which actually is addictive, is not "almost immediate". I'm glad you realize an addiction is not easy to break, it shows that you understand the definition of the word. There are many people in this country with many different values, not everyone shares yours. Clearly your opinions are based on ignorance, so next time before you try to impose upon other people and their lifestyle, educate yourself a little about the subject.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

"Smoking a substance creates addiction almost immediately."

As a medical professional, I have to tell you that you're talking out of your ass.

"How many meth freaks, heroin addicts, crack heads, vicodin users, pill pushers didn't start with marijuana?"

I'm thinking next to none started with marijuana. Almost all of them started with alcohol. That's if you even accept this theory of the "gateway drug," which is great as amateur psychology, but as science it's mostly nonsense.

You really don't have a clue what you're talking about, do you?

Posted by Greg on Nov. 05, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

Many drinkers and all pot heads have this view that they are somehow superior to the other.

The pot head says, "look at all the damage that a drunks do"... aside from all the criminal activity involved in the illegal drug trade, I guess? Drunks just need to feel better about themselves I suppose, I often need something to bitch about when hungover, who knows?

The biggest gateway drug is coffee by the way my authoritarian progressive friend, second to smokes.

Posted by matlocl on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 3:10 am

Lee spent millions to put the measure on the ballot and then spent next to nothing on a campaign. This was all about calling the question in the negative in order to defer reconsideration for another decade and keep the franchise in operation and the massive profits flowing.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 2:18 am

It's funny how no one ever thinks about the amount of people who are high daily on over the counter cold and allergy medicines, pms pain pills, Nyquil, Dayquil, the list goes on and on. There is a tiny little mention on these legal medications that say not to drive or use heavy machinery, yet people do it every day, y'know air traffic controllers, etc.

Sometimes it is good to just stand back and think of it in a larger perspective....we have made a PLANT illegal. That is sort of an embarrassment.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 6:48 am

What happened to Amiano's bill? The one written by a legislator and not some hack novice that thinks he is going to be the Sam Walton of weed?

Prop 19 was a joke...

Posted by Philip Inuhoff on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 6:50 am

It was loosely written with the intent to let local jurisdictions make their own decision about how to manage the commerce of cannabis. That is called small government. Make it legal and let the people figure it out. Over time, the courts and legislature would add more regulations. This is the same approach that we, as a nation, took when the sale of alcohol was made legal in 1933.

Prop 19 was no joke. It put the power of decision-making back to the people.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

It does suck to now be a part of California history that some day will be looked back at as uptight and selfish. Congratulations, geniuses who voted no, you are officially in history as a moron, documentary filmmakers will make sure of that. Your spawn will be so proud you made a plant illegal, way to go. Enjoy your hypocritical weekend, I'm glad I wont be hanging out with you.

Posted by Dahlia on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 8:04 am

To Dahlia-

Yes we all have to grow up one day. Maybe when you get there you will learn to voice your opinion in way that sparks intellectual debate rather than hatred. I'm sorry you were brainwashed by the Yes campaign. Did you know you were on Sarah Palin's side? Anything she approves I have to check twice....

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

The exact quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
"It is not a drug,
It is a leaf"

Do you really want to illegalize a leaf.

Posted by Steve on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 8:40 am

Alcohol and cigarettes are legal, both of which screw with your body (one more so than the other)...why is marijuana so different?

Plus the fact that, as America learned (or should have learned) from the 1920's, prohibition doesn't work. If anything, it makes things way more complicated than they need be. There are some people who just want to get high no matter what laws you make, fines you impose, or jail time you give.

I know America was founded by Puritans, but really...its 230+ years later. I think we can let go of that taboo now.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 11:31 am

No one with any real political sense supported 19 or wanted it to pass. It would have spelled the end of the medical program.

It was poorly-worded and would have consolidated control under a few large growers contracted by the state.

"Legalization" is a step backwards. We need to decriminalize.

http://www.laketahoenews.net/2010/11/opinion-why-prop-19-went-up-in-smoke/

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

Honestly, the reason it didn't pass it because the people who are for legalization were high during election day.

No school that day? Possibly no work either? Perfect day to get stoned out of your mind.

That or they just didn't give a damn.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2010 @ 7:41 am

I was holding off renewing my recommendation till after the election, hoping 19 would pass and I might save myself a few bucks.
Well, thanks to the MCD's and their stealth opposition to 19, it's time to visit the Dr.,plunk down my $80 and renew my recommendation.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2010 @ 9:19 am

Interesting to note that yes on 19 received more votes than Meg Whitman did!

Posted by D10 from my house on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 8:03 am

Ok firstly I hate the comparison of marijuana --> alcohol/or tobacco. Why? Because they are both legal and cause more deaths than almost anything. So why then should we legalize another drug and give it over to big business. Because our gov't and corporations are so trustworthy? .....Please give me a break.

Secondly they changed the laws on prohibition with 19. For example, if I were to be caught smoking with say a 16 year old and I was over 18, then I'd be spending the next 3-5 years in jail. Right now in California it's only a $100 fine and you never even have to mention it on a job application. So why would I vote to put 18 year olds in jail for marijuana? Another reason I voted NO.

I can go on all day but for the most part, it seems to me that the majority of proponents for prop 19 never even read the bill. Just used wikipedia at most or something..Because your arguements are speculative bullshit and irrelevant to the proposition that you are supporting.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

All the Prop 19 analysis I've read basically ignores the contingent of the Pro-Legalization movement that opposed the prop. Sure, you might get the cursory mention about the black market wanting to hold onto its profit margins. But the existence of substantive intellectual disagreement is suspiciously MIA in most of the press.

My no vote on Prop 19 had nothing to do with the fear of legalization. I just prefer my current set of rights to those set forth in the proposition.

I'm not particularly interested in allowing corporations to bio-engineer the hemp plant, spread the seed killing all other strains, then asserting their intellectual property rights to control access and use. Prop 19 opened a direct path that would have taken hemp down the road of soybeans or corn. A temporary "victory" for legalization would have screwed us all in the long term.

Besides, there's a much better measure being prepped for the ballot as soon as next year or 2012. Given that Yes on 19 had more support than Meg Whitman, even in defeat, I have no problem waiting for a real attempt at reform.

The Pro-Legalization movement has a much better chance of fighting the Feds if it is united. If we have to rely on George Soros and Monsanto, I'm pretty sure we just missed the point.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

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