Pot legalization defeated thanks to the elderly

California's Proposition 19 falls short despite strong youth support

Topics: 2010 Elections, War Room, Drugs,

Pot legalization defeated thanks to the elderlySmoking paraphernalia is displayed on a storefront as Californians decide to vote for the legalization of marijuana in San Francisco, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)(Credit: AP)

The AP is projecting that Proposition 19, the pot legalization initiative in California that enjoyed a steady lead in the polls until just a few weeks ago, was defeated Tuesday.

The exit polls tell part of the story here, via the AP’s Jennifer Agiesta:

Generation gap on Prop. 19 was enormous: six in 10 under 30 say they voted yes, seven in 10 seniors say no.

We don’t have the final vote tally yet. But in some ways it’s remarkable that Proposition 19 attracted as much support as it did in the face of fierce opposition from the entire political establishment, including the Republicans running for statewide office, the Democrats running for statewide office, and the Obama administration.

A question for after the rush of election news: Will the administration who appointed a drug czar who was supposed to be different actually deliver anything in the way of a change to the country’s drug policy?

Meanwhile, here’s the spin from the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance. From LA Weekly:

“It validates the analysis that prop. 19 has permanently impacted the national debate and moved marijuana legalization into the mainstream of American politics,” he said. “We came up short tonight but it’s clear it’s an issue people take seriously.”

“Regardless of the outcome, it clearly has been an enormously valuable exercise, because Prop. 19 has moved the debate forward nationally and forged an unprecedented reform coalition.”


Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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