Marijuana legalization advocates look giddily towards 2012
Most of California’s high-profile ballot initiatives — from rolling back the state’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts to legalizing marijuana — failed last week at the ballot box, but at least for marijuana legalization advocates, their spirits remain high and their hopes are already set on 2012. The initiative, called Proposition 19, won 46 percent of the vote — a stronger showing, advocates note, than Republican statewide candidates Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were able to garner:
“The question about legalizing marijuana is no longer when, it’s no longer whether, it’s how,” said Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a national advocacy group that will play a pivotal role in any 2012 ballot measures in California or other states. “There’s a really strong body of people who will be ready to pull the lever in the future.”
Indeed, many pundits questioned the wisdom of pushing the proposition in a midterm election year, when young people have such a poor track record of showing up at the polls. This fact only adds to the hopes of supporters for the initiative’s prospects in 2012, however. They say they will once again push the measure in California and perhaps a number of other states during the upcoming presidential election cycle.