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Proposition 19: California rejects marijuana legalization measure

Washington Post Staff
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 12:04 PM

Proposition 19 failed to pass, but the nationwide debate it sparked has not died down.

As Aaron Blake and Felicia Somnez reported:

California voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have made their state the first in the union to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana.

California was not the only state dealing with marijuana-related questions. In South Dakota, voters rejected an effort to legalize medical marijuana - which California and 13 other states have done over the past 15 years. Arizona voters were considering a similar measure.

(READ MORE: The year is 2020: What's happened with marijuana?)

As AP reported, supporters of Prop 19 are not losing hope.

Supporters of Proposition 19 blamed Tuesday's outcome on the conservative leanings of older voters who participate in midterm elections. They also acknowledged that young voters had not turned out in sufficient numbers to secure victory, but said they were ready to try again in two years.

"It's still a historic moment in this very long struggle to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Project. "Unquestionably, because of Proposition 19, marijuana legalization initiatives will be on the ballot in a number of states in 2012, and California is in the mix."

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