For Immediate Release
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384 or
Stephen Gutwillig (323) 542-2606
California's Marijuana Legalization Initiative Falls Short
Proposition 19 was an Extraordinary Victory for National Movement to Legalize Marijuana
WASHINGTON - California voters decided against the adoption of Proposition 19, which
would have legalized possession and cultivation of small amounts of
marijuana by adults and allow cities and counties to regulate sales of
marijuana within their jurisdictions. A win at the ballot would have
been a first of its kind in U.S. history.
yesterday, but it already represents an extraordinary victory for the
broader movement to legalize marijuana. Its mere presence on the
ballot, combined with a well run campaign, transformed public dialogue
about marijuana and marijuana policy.
and marijuana policy. The media coverage, around the country and
internationally, has been exceptional, both in quantity and quality.
The campaign forged an unprecedented coalition of drug policy reformers,
mainstream civil rights groups, organized labor, and a large contingent
of outspoken retired law enforcement figures.
is an issue that young people care about a lot – and that putting it on
the ballot increases the chances that they'll actually vote. Both major
parties have no choice but to pay attention, especially when the
political allegiances of young voters are very much up for grabs.
reform, the plan remains the same: to put the issue to voters in states
where polls show majority support for legalizing marijuana, and to
introduce similar bills in state legislatures. It's too soon to say
whether the issue will be back on the ballot in California in 2012, but
at the very least we know that a bill to tax and regulate marijuana will
be considered by the state legislature, just as one was earlier this
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