Updated: Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010, 9:48 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010, 5:09 AM CDT
Los Angeles – California voters today rejected Proposition 19, which would have allowed Californians who are at least 21 years old to possess, cultivate or transport marijuana for personal use.
“Proponents of Prop. 19 tried to mislead voters into voting for a title and summary, but tonight, the voters of California proved that the details of an initiative do matter,” No on 19 campaign manager Tim Rosales said.
“Proponents said Prop. 19 would tax, regulate and control marijuana when in fact those claims turned out not to be true. Prop. 19 provided no regulation or control, no means of collecting revenue, no benefit to public safety of Californians and could cost us billions.”
Proposition 19 proponent Richard Lee said “the fact that millions of Californians voted to legalize marijuana is a tremendous victory.”
“We have broken the glass ceiling,” Lee said. “Prop. 19 has changed the terms of the debate and that was a major strategic goal.”
Rosales said the no side was outspent 10-1 but “did a better job of urging the voters to examine the initiative from themselves.”
“No matter where voters stood on the concept of legalization, they recognized that Prop. 19 was a jumbled, legal nightmare and that the economics didn’t pencil out,” Rosales said.
Lee said he would attempt to qualify another initiative in 2012 to legalize marijuana.
“With limited resources this time around we were able to build an enormously powerful coalition of cops and moms, law professors and civil rights leaders, liberals and libertarians, conservatives and unions, all for change,” Lee said. “This coalition will only continue to grow in size and strength as we prepare for 2012.”
The initiative also would have allowed local governments to regulate and tax the commercial production and sale of marijuana — which supporters claimed could have generated billions of dollars for cash-strapped cities.
Opponents, including a variety of public safety agencies and even competing state attorney general candidates Steve Cooley and Kamala Harris, claimed the measure would only lead to unsafe roads and workplaces, with no standards for drivers who are under the influence of the drugs.
Opponents also said school districts would have been unable to restrict marijuana use by bus drivers before they come to work.
Supporters insisted Proposition 19 maintained penalties for driving under the influence and bolstered penalties for providing the drug to minors. Marijuana also could not be smoked in public.
Clouding the issue was the fact that marijuana would remain illegal under federal law, and federal officials have said they would continue to prosecute the use of the drug, even if voters had approved Proposition 19.”
Watch the video to see Texas Norml’s Executive Director Josh Schimberg speaking on behalf of marijuana legalization on myfoxaustin.com
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