Saturday, November 13, 2010

Despite setback opponents of prohibition remain hopeful

SAN FRANCISCO — Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, received more votes than the Republican nominee for governor, Meg Whitman.

It also received untold news coverage, bringing the debate a new level of legitimacy in the eyes of many supporters. And while it lost — with 46 percent of the vote — its showing at the polls was strong enough that those supporters are confidently planning to bring it back before voters in California, and perhaps other states, in 2012.

“We’re going to win,” said Aaron Houston, the executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a nonprofit group in Washington. “And we’re going to win a whole lot sooner than anybody thinks.”

But for all that heady talk, proponents of legalization still face a series of stiff challenges, including winning over older members of the electorate — who overwhelmingly rejected the measure — as well as wary elected officials from both political parties. And while most advocates say that Proposition 19 was a high-water mark for the movement, many admit that the road to legalization will also require new campaign ideas, more money and a tighter, more detailed message to overcome persistent cultural concerns about the drug.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

gdelassu said...

I think that Prop 19's mistake was trying to put the issue to a vote in an off-year election. The anti-prohibition side needs a large youth turn-out to win, and the demographics of mid-term voters skew older. If they had run Prop 19 in 2008, they might well have won (especially with all of the youth enthusiasm that Barack Obama's campaign engendered). I think that there is a good chance that if they run it in 2012 they could win. 2010 was just the wrong election cycle.