Prop 19 goes up in smoke

All the polls, all the robo telephone polls, the talk at the clubs, dispensaries, friends…all were pulling for Prop 19! WTF happened?

I read that a lot of the polls that were taken about prop 19 were done via automated phone calls, and the resounding answer was YES LEGALIZE IT! Though when polls were taken with live operators, and in person, the subdued answer was ahh…no?!?

How could this have happened? Is paranoia still running strong among marijuana users?

What happened @ the polls is my question!

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LOS ANGELES – California voters soundly rejected a ballot measure on Tuesday that would have made it the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.The nation’s eyes were on Proposition 19 because legalization would have put the state at odds with federal drug laws and the Obama administration said it would continue to prosecute people in California for possessing or growing marijuana.

A maverick move by California could also have inspired other states, as has been the case with medical marijuana.

In 1996, California led the nation with a ballot measure approving cannabis for medical purposes and 13 other states have since followed suit.

Passage of Prop 19 would also have had a financial impact because it cleared the way for local governments to regulate the “business side” of marijuana, including commercial cultivation and taxation.

Prop 19 supporters argued that ending prosecutions for marijuana possession would free up law enforcement resources and strike a blow against drug cartels, much as repealing the prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s crushed bootlegging by organized crime.

Supporters also asked voters to consider that marijuana generates an estimated $14 billion in sales annually in the state, revenue they considered ripe for taxation, especially at a time of deep budget deficits in California.

But with nearly half of the vote counted, 56 percent of Californians voted “no,” while 44 percent were in the “yes” camp.

A PIPE DREAM?

Supporters took the defeat in stride.

“The cannabis movement has been here, literally here in Oakland, since the 1960s and it’s not going anywhere,” said John Decker, 26, a pizza restaurant worker.

Critics of Prop 19, including many in law enforcement, warned of various social harms of legalizing cannabis, from declines in production and academic achievement to a rise in traffic and workplace accidents.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last month he would “vigorously enforce” federal drug laws in California if Prop 19 passed.

That seemed to loom large over voters on Tuesday.

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