Proposition 19 Goes Up In A Puff Of Smoke

» Complete Election Results

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California voters weren’t high on a ballot measure aimed at legalizing marijuana and appeared to heed warnings of legal chaos and a federal showdown when they defeated the initiative to make the state the first in the nation to allow the recreational use and sale of pot.

In addition, supporters of Proposition 19 blamed Tuesday’s outcome on the conservative leanings of older voters who participate in midterm elections. They acknowledged that young voters had not turned out in sufficient numbers to secure victory but said they were ready to try again in two years.

Measure To Legalize Marijuana Falls Short: KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports.

“It’s still a historic moment in this very long struggle to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Project. “Unquestionably, because of Proposition 19, marijuana legalization initiatives will be on the ballot in a number of states in 2012, and California is in the mix.”

Tim Rosales, who managed the No on 19 campaign, scoffed at that attitude from the losing side.

“If they think they are going to be back in two years, they must be smoking something,” he said. “This is a state that just bucked the national trend and went pretty hard on the Democratic side, but yet in the same vote opposed Prop 19. I think that says volumes as far as where California voters are on this issue.”

With more than two-thirds of precincts reporting, Proposition 19 was losing by nine percentage points.

The measure received more yes than no votes in just 11 of the state’s 58 counties, getting its strongest support in San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties.

In a sign of what a tough sell it was, an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press showed opposition cutting across gender and racial lines, as well as income and education levels.

The ballot measure even lost in the state’s vaunted marijuana-growing region known as the “Emerald Triangle” of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties.

Voters in three other states cast ballots on medical marijuana-related referenda.

In South Dakota, voters rejected for the second time a measure to legalize marijuana for medical use — a step taken by California in 1996 and 13 other states since. Oregon voters refused to expand their state’s medical marijuana program to create a network of state-licensed nonprofit dispensaries where patients could have purchased the drug.

A medical marijuana measure on Arizona’s ballot was too close to call early Wednesday.

California’s marijuana proposal would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, consume it in nonpublic places as long as no children were present, and grow it in small private plots.

It also would have authorized local governments to permit commercial pot cultivation, as well as the sale and use of marijuana at licensed establishments.

Images of marijuana leaves and smashed-up cars and school buses appeared in dueling ads during the campaign that pitted the state’s political and law enforcement establishment against determined activists.

Proponents pitched it as a sensible, though unprecedented, experiment that would provide tax revenue for the cash-strapped state, dent the drug-related violence in Mexico by causing pot prices to plummet, and reduce marijuana arrests that they say disproportionately target minority youth.

Popular support was hampered, however, by opposition from some medical marijuana activists, growers and providers, who said they feared the system they have created would be taken over by corporations or lose its purpose.

In the weeks leading to the election, federal officials said they planned to continue enforcing laws making marijuana possession and sales illegal and were considering suing to overturn the California initiative if voters approved it.

“Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California’s budget crisis, or reduce drug related violence in Mexico,” White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Mike Hawhurtz

    Funny how KCAL 9 is reporting this as a lose, in yet other propositions with similar margins, they do not declare a “winner”

    • Amber Kern

      exactly, why has this one ended yet others with the same percent difference are still not over?

  • Ray

    I don’t smoke pot and never will, but voted for 19, because of the plants other uses in the fields. It’s a long list that hasn’t been published enough.

  • willblogforlols
    • Malachy

      I would like to have them create a proposition to end those “I voted” stickers. They must cost the state money to manufacturer and all people do is throw them out when receiving them. Do others really need to know or care that you voted?

  • Brian

    I’m really ashamed at my state. Each person that voted “no” on Prop 19 is, in my opinion, an accessory to murder, rape, armed robbery and other heinous crimes. The reason is you’ve just given criminals $14 billion per year, to hire lawyers, corrupt officials and buy escape from prosecution. You’ve empowered them to get away with their crimes, so it’s your fault. To repeat, you’re an accessory to their crimes. Additionally, in order to avoid hypocrisy, I expect everyone who voted “no” to start a campaign to make alcohol and tobacco illegal.

    • john

      Word, brutha!

    • Mr. Mister Officer to you

      Haha….sure, whatever, pothead.

    • JB

      I think most people would agree that what you do in the privacy of your own home is YOUR business. The problem with legalizing marijuana is that people don’t stay in their home. They get on public roads and drive under the influence. And, yes, I would want to start a campaign to make alcohol and tobacco illegal. Both are killers and alcohol is a highly abused drug. NOW, if our JUSTICE system was better and we did a better job of putting people away for DUI or vehicular manslaughter, I’d feel a little differently. Something has to change. We’re too lenient as a country, and innocent people get hurt with little to no repercussions to the offender.

      • dusty

        yes I agree with you..

      • reason

        prohibition doesnt work! that is what our country decided with alcohol after trying it. The result was worse than it being legal. People have ALWAYS done drugs – these laws wont stop it, only make MORE violent crime.
        Nice going California – way to be the progressive state I was proud of.
        Well I guess now those truck drivers wont be smoking pot. Keep living in your denial dream world.

    • Mike Stevenson

      Maybe you should stop buying their products. It appears that you have used their products a bit too much as your logic is laughable at best.

  • Allan

    You notice how they are taking longer to report the results of Prop 19 votes? I wonder how long it took Florida to cover up votes, how ever long it took expect that here for prop. 19.

  • CAL

    Legalize it because of a failed war against it??? GREAT!!! When do we legalize murder??? Rape??? Molesting little kids??? It still happens…so we must be failing…LEGALIZE IT!!!

    • john

      Wow… the jump you make from pot to murder and rape is indicitave of your inability to argue rationally. Well done, fear monger.

    • Dennis

      This is a victim less crime, the others you mention are not.

    • Jacob

      Your’e a total hypocrit. Smoking marijuana for personal is a victimless crime and will take the money out of the hands of drug lords who commit rape and murder. You should think hard before talking

      • Jacob

        Your’e a total hypocrit. Smoking marijuana for personal use is a victimless crime and will take the money out of the hands of drug lords who commit rape and murder. You should think hard before talking

      • notlovinLA

        Sorry, but smoking marijuana is NOT a victimless crime. Do more research and look around your neighborhoods instead of rolling your next loser joint.

    • notlovinLA

      Amen to CAL!!!!

  • Ivan

    Obviously they didn’t seriously consider it. Had they done so it would have passed.

  • Greg

    What You tolerate , You deserve.

  • mod

    getting it and growing it in small amounts on the sly has been and always will be easy and better because the thc will not be controlled like the government will want it to be. thanks california for keeping things nice and sweet. no tax for my weed.

    • Mike

      Quietly grow your own. The only way to go.

  • MalibuKen

    When will we realize that fear of a plant vs fear of a synthetically produced compound have dramatic differences? Above that, alcohol causes more deaths yearly than pot, and yet it is still legal, taxed, and in many cases promoted as a healthy social behavior. This irrational fear has turn a plant into a criminal, and the user into a citizen due contempt. Among so many usages for this ‘plant’ are many useful healthy medical alternatives to other ‘drugs’, without the harmful side affects. This fight is not yet over, nay it has just begun.

  • fred locke

    Just heard a guy being interviewed saying that prop 19 going down will save our children.
    I guess this guy has been on mars for a decade or two because anyone who has been in the state for some time would know it’s not too hard to get their hands on Marijuana.
    My question is what would happen if prescription narcotics like Oxycotton were illegal. You think the big drug companies would allow that?
    Absolutely insane the proposition isn’t going to pass and I absolutely blame to mainstream media who has demonized it by false reporting and biased opinion.

  • J. C.

    I am offended by the play on words in the headline. This goes back way before all the so-called ‘potheads’. To think this is something recent and lighthearted is to be ignorant. This has been an issue for years and years, and it should have been legalized along time ago, flat out. Therefore the whole issue of marijuana would be out of the hands of people who want to put you in jail for using it on any level, while many use it themselves behind closed doors. Make it legal and then it is quite simply no longer a problem.

  • Rudi

    Lenny Bruce once joked that he was sure “reefer” would be legal in 10 years because all the law students he knew smoked it. He said that in 1961. We’re still not getting it. But it’s really a collective failure. Less than 40% of the population even exercises their right to vote. What you don’t use, you lose.

  • sickboytodd

    who cares if our state and nation want to ignore millions of people begging to be taxed for something that they buy untaxed.
    Then there’s nothing that can be done.

  • Cory

    The Pros of Legalizing Marijuana outweigh the Cons. Regardless if the “no” votes outweigh the “yes” votes. Pot needed to be legalized a long time ago. Doesn’t anybody realize that the Billions of dollars a year that could be going to our state, is going to illegal Drug-dealers instead? People are gonna smoke it anyway! Legal or not!

  • J jones

    LOL. I see a lot of unhappy little stoners here. Too bad. I voted against this ridiculous measure. I’m a taxpayer. I actually make money and work. You losers should move out of California and in fact, out of the country. See ya. Go get stoned in another nation. Anyway, the issue is settled. It is funny to imagine all of you bong tokers suffering major buzzkill when word got out that the prop failed to pass.

    • PR

      You should move out of the country for denying us tavpaying citizens our rights of freedom. Its our choice! If you choose to not smoke then so be it. How many pro marijuana advocates do you see hating on non-smokers????? NONE

    • K AbySS

      J Jones you sound like someone who is immature…I don’t think someone who is 30 or older would begin typing “LOL”. Your ignorance and immaturity sickens me. You mention bong tokers, but “U FAIL” to mention coke snorters, needle pushers, alcohol abusers, tobacco smokers? Your brainwashed simple as that. Get off the political bandwagon already.

    • we had the right, but lost it!

      With a state so in debt we really needed something to bring us back.
      People are to stupid to see that. It will happen. It would have created more jobs for people in this tough economy, people do benefit form it. I have never known someone to smoke a bowl and go out and .kill,rape and get in bar fights. Next time guys for sure!!!

    • matt

      Good for you that you work and pay taxes, who gives a rats ass…please show me the number of deaths that pot causes per year and show me figures of how many deaths tobacco and alcohol cause per year….

    • Cory

      It’s funnier to imagine your mom suffering some major rug-burn

  • caliboymatt

    i guess this just means more drug violence, street level drug dealers and cartels.

  • PR

    How could california NOT vote yes? We are the greatest state and we need this to hold back the drug cartels. We are begging to be taxed and yet the government doesnt listen. Just pass it already and those who oppose can just not do it. Simple as that

  • SoCal 007

    Was going to vote “yes,” but I wasn’t convience how taxing it will work, I mean, it allow people to grow the plant, if people grow the plant, why would they want to buy from the store, and if they dont go out and buy it from the store, how would you collect the “tax.” If there was a provision somewhere saying that a license will be required to grow, maybe i would have gone out to vote and support this proposition, atleast I’ll know that California will be getting the money either way. Just my opinion on it. I am not against legalizing it, but it need to be well written out rather than, “lets legalize it and see what happen” mentality.

  • 2 Late

    Oh dude, was I suppose to vote yesterday? {Whack, whack} Dude, that was my shull!

  • billy

    theres a lot of happy and unhappy stoners. personally i dont care if its legal or not. if you want smoke pot, smoke pot but do it at your own place and you got no worries brother. in fact i smoke pot. if your smoking pot in parks,cars, public spots then honestly you should get rolled and get a ticket. also. its no longer a big deal to get caught up with weed. its now a hundred dollar ticket. you pay its done like a seat ticket… sooooo stfu.

  • Reason

    children in California have tried pot in way higher percentage by 15 than children in Holland where its LEGAL. And for those of you saying “keep it nice and sweet like it is, not taxed” and you voted no, thanks a lot. Thanks for perpetuating the ridiculousness of making a plant illegal that could have uses for so many things not to MENTION medicine for so many – but I guess your selfishness wins again right?
    Im sure the drug lords who murder every day are thanking you.

  • Reason

    J Jones you are indeed the problem. not everyone for prop 19 is a stoner. I am in my late 30s and dont smoke at all and never have. But your fear based reality is ridiculous when a certain plant cant become medicine like any other. You sound like you are 80. So youd rather have the money (that will STILL be spent) given to the drug lords in another country?!? THAT sounds smart.

  • Vinh

    the Medical Marijuana industry lives on! Love live the MMP. I voted no on 19 and my livelihood was at stake tonight. Thank you California voters.

  • Ryan

    Ughh…is it even possible for a mainstream news outlet – any one – to discuss legalization without resorting to “pot puns”? The propaganda machine was in full force for this one. You old farts who just have an axe to grind with cannabis users and buy into decades-old stereotypes about all smokers being lazy are pathetic.

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