Posted on 04 November 2010
California’s marijuana legalization initiative, Proposition 19, didn’t win a majority of votes yesterday but it already represents an extraordinary victory for the broader movement to legalize marijuana.
What’s most important is the way its mere presence on the ballot, combined with a well run campaign, has transformed public dialogue about marijuana and marijuana policy. The media coverage, not just in California but around the country and even internationally, has been exceptional, both in quantity and quality. More people knew about Prop 19 than any other measure on the ballot this year — not just in California but nationwide.
The debate is shifting from whether marijuana should be legalized to how. Public opinion polls in California consistently reveal that a majority of the state’s citizens favor legalizing marijuana. One “No on 19″ campaign spokesman admitted that even his own supporters were divided between those who oppose legalizing marijuana and those who favor legalization but were wary of either Prop 19’s specific provisions or the federal government’s threats to block it from being implemented.
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