Proposition 19 defeated – The false hope of change with young support for Prop 19

MarijuanaWell, no matter the hope for some before November 2nd, voters in California chose not to pass Prop 19 – the legislation that would have made that State the first in the Union to explicitly legalize the sale of marijuana within its borders. I’ve already said that I support the drug’s decriminalization, and I would actually support the decriminalization of all drug use, but as an ex drug dealer myself, I think going for legalization would have been somewhat premature.

Why Proposition 19 failed – Young weed smokers?

One of the interesting notions brought up during this recent debate had to do with the fact that young voters were overwhelmingly supporting the passage of proposition 19. Some writers on the topic were making the assertion that this means the likely legalization of marijuana use in the very near future regardless of the fate of prop 19. I disagree. In fact, many of those who opposed the passage of a legalization law are baby boomers – individuals who themselves smoked quite a bit of weed and were supporting its integration into society along with a host of other libertarian ideas in their youth. But the passage of time changes more than the number of wrinkles on people’s faces, and political opinions and wills are certainly among those things who shift with age. That’s why I personally think we’re a long way from passing any law that, like Prop 19, tries to legalize all aspects of the marijuana trade. I’m all for medical marijuana where it helps, and reducing the drug’s scheduling will go a long way towards that, but I don’t think we’re going to see marijuana getting full legal status anytime soon.

People on different sides of this debate will call these older voters hypocrites, but I say that since around 80% of youths engage generally in deviant behavior (if you define illegal as deviant), I think we should leave the bigger decisions to people with a little more complete brain development and a lot more experience. Besides, could we translate the fact that young voters, who supposedly supported the passage of proposition 19, stayed at home as evidence that marijuana use does reduce motivation even when it comes to passing laws affecting its own consumption? The notion doesn’t bode well for ever passing a law having anything to do with weed. I jest of course… sort of.

6 Replies to “Proposition 19 defeated – The false hope of change with young support for Prop 19”

  1. Weed is an addictive substance, and our society is ridden with addiction. To me, I’m not concerned with the decision, I think if people really needed to get their weed fix, they’ll find a way to get it. It doesn’t really address the underlying issue – how to fix addiction.. what is missing in their lives that they need to resort to drugs?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      I don’t know that there are too many people on Parole who were criminalized for marijuana use only, and the number of dealers who are incarcerated and on parole (and therefore unable to vote) would likely not have swung the vote. I think that marijuana’s status in California makes it hard to argue that there are a slew of people in jails because of it; still, there are probably others who’s criminal career began with marijuana and who ended up getting in trouble for other things down the line. For those, making marijuana legal may have helped, but it may not have either…

  2. The thing about prop 19 that the opposition doesn’t get is that people that want to smoke marijuana are going to smoke marijuana. There are NO barriers from holding them back from acquiring a bag of weed, none at all. I’m not for prop 19 but I do find it funny how much money the alcohol and tobacco industry put in to the no vote.

    1. If that’s true then what is the urgency in passing a law that makes it legal? What is the problem if there are no barriers and anyone who wants to smoke it already is?

  3. For me let’s say, I don’t smoke marijuana and don’t condone it but people who smoke are going to smoke, why not let the government tax it. It’s the revenue for the state of California that intrigues me on this one. We are that broke! Of coarse I would hate to see more people become addicted to it so in the end it’s not the best solution for California’s revenue problem.

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