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Marijuana Legalization Movement Suffers Loss, Vows to Move Forward

An initiative on California's ballot that would have made it the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use was rejected by voters on Tuesday. Many people around the country and even around the world were watching closely to see what would happen. If Proposition 19 would have passed, it would have set up a confrontation with the federal government. Even if marijuana was legalized in the state, it would have still been illegal under federal law and the U.S. attorney general vowed to enforce federal law in California no matter what happened on Tuesday.

Even though the measure did not pass, the measure's proponents say they are going to work with the initiative's critics to draft a new bill. They say they are also looking to put similar initiatives on ballots in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and probably California in 2012. The proponents of marijuana legalization say that their cause is moving forward and, even though the measure failed to pass, the debate over the issue has been brought into mainstream America.

The ballot initiative would have decriminalized marijuana possession of up to an ounce by adults 21 and older. It would have also made it legal for adults 21 and over to cultivate up to 25 square feet of marijuana plants for personal use. The ballot measure also would have authorized city councils and county supervisors to regulate and tax commercial sales of marijuana.


Youth vote falters; Prop. 19 falls short (Los Angeles Times)

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