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.”
“The Prop 19 campaign really did not do anything to help people get over their fear of marijuana, the substance,” said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization that has helped pass medical marijuana laws. “If people believed marijuana is a dangerous drug that people shouldn’t use before the campaign, that is probably how they felt at the end of the campaign.” MORE...