Prop 19 – Not A Complete Failure.
On November 2nd, 2010, California voters participated in a state-wide attempt to legalize marijuana. California, which allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes, would have been the first state to allow marijuana to be sold for recreational use. Proposition 19 lost by 10 points, unfortunately due to poor voter turnout – the number of voters under the age of 25 was not as high as expected, and neither was the black and latino population (which was surprising, considering the fact that the majority of them would be looking to decrease the number of minority arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana). However, although Prop 19 did not end up passing yesterday, it is an important landmark for politics today – marijuana is becoming more and more of a legitimate political issue. The fact that Prop 19 drew as much attention and support as it did is a win in itself. Although legislation such as Prop 19 will take quite some time to pass on the East Coast or in the South, it will continue to be seen on the West Coast.
So what’s necessary for a bill such as this to pass? Voter participation from the people who are most commonly affected by it. Unfortunately, the issue is considered taboo, and does not receive as much media coverage as an issue such as healthcare would. It is important for the people who believe strongly in this issue to continue to promote and spread awareness of it – luckily, thanks to legislation such as Prop 19, it is now becoming easier and less socially unacceptable to do so.