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Marijuana Measure Loses in California; Tax Issues Vary by State

4 years ago
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California voters rejected Proposition 19, the measure that would have made the state the first in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. Well-funded activists fought hard to pass Proposition 19 and end the state's prohibition on pot, but California's political and law enforcement establishment carried the day.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Prop 19 was trailing 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent early Wednesday, leading analysts to declare defeat. Proposition 19 would have allowed possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults over 21, and would have allowed local officials to tax it.

Polls went back and forth in months leading up to the election, but in the final days, the "no" forces gathered steam.

Proponents of legalized marijuana said the ballot measure was a milestone and predicted it would be back on the ballot in 2012 in California and other states.

Otherwise, there were few discernible trends among the 142 initiatives and legislative measures on midterm ballots. Click here for the latest results on major ballot measures.

In Colorado, an initiative to block the new federal health care law was projected to lose. But voters in Oklahoma were on the verge of overwhelmingly approved a similar measure. Similarly, Oklahoma voters turned away from a measure to increase spending on public education, but voters in Massachusetts refused to cut their sales tax in half.


California was the only state with a measure on recreational pot, but South Dakota and Arizona ballots included medical marijuana initiatives, South Dakota's Measure 13 went down in flames, 63 percent to 37 percent. Arizona's Proposition 203 was statistically on the fence, though no-votes were ahead by about 7,000 with 92 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning. There are currently 14 states, and the District of Columbia, with forms of medical marijuana laws.

Health care:

In several states, voters had a chance to weigh in on the debate over the future of the new health care laws. In Colorado, Amendment 63, which would create a constitutional right to a "health care choice," trailed by a 55-45 margin. Arizona voters seem more receptive to Proposition 106, which would bar any law requiring a person to participate in a health care system. In early voting, Proposition 106 led 60-40 percent. And Oklahoma voters were soundly supporting the state's proposed "Health Care Freedom" Amendment, State Question 756, by a margin of 65-35 percent with roughly one-third of the votes counted.


With the economy and unemployment a major talking point this election, several ballot measures around the country focused on taxes. In the state of Washington, Proposition 1098 sought to tax wealthy state residents in order to provide tax relief to small businesses and the middle class. But Washington voters turned it down 65 percent to 35 percent, with 59 percent of precincts counted, according to the Associated Press.

In Oklahoma, with a third of the precincts reporting, voters were rejecting by a margin of 80-20 percent a taxing measure called Helping Oklahoma Education Act. State Question 744, which would require the legislature to fund the state's public school system on a par with per-student costs in neighboring states, was trailing. But voters in Massachusetts refused to roll back the Commonwealth's sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent. With 70 percent of precincts reporting, the tax rollback measure was down 57-43 percent.

Other notable measures:

In California, via Proposition 23, voters in early returns were rejecting an attempt to put off greenhouse gas regulation in the Golden State until its economy turns around.

In Colorado, Amendment 62, a measure that would give fetuses constitutional rights from the moment of inception, went down to defeat, 70 percent to 30 percent.

In Missouri, voters appeared headed toward defeating dog-breeding restrictions. With roughly one-third of the precincts reporting, the measure to restrict puppy mills was trailing 58-42 percent.

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Follow the money, the corporations that run prisons would lose billions. The dea reminds me of a dog chasing his tail. Over the years, the banks have laundered trillions,the cartels have made trillions, governments have made trillions, or did you forget cia, drugs,arms, the contras.

November 03 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The debate over pot should have been settled 50 years ago. So many lives ruined because its been illegal not because people use it. Thomas Jefferson had the remedy when Govt. overstepped its boundry and that was to ignore them. Kind of hard to ignore having your door kicked in at 3 in the morning over freaking pot but that is what we must do. Just keep ignoring them until they stop this insanity. The Constitution gives no authority of their drug policy. Drug laws belong to the states and if your state has no other law than the Fed. law then the Constitution gives you the right even if the jack boot thugs don't.

November 03 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This doesn't surprise me, but it does disappoint me. Alchohol is by far more destructive than marijauna yet it remains legal. The whole deal is the court systems are making millions of dollars prosecuting non violent offenders over pot possession. It's all about the money. The state knew it could not effectively tax pot, so they left their only other money making option in place. If they would concentrate more on going after the violent offenders and not have to persecute people who have a few ounces of pot on them, we would all be a lot better off.

November 03 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How is it illegal for Swartzenegger to run for a 3rd term but not for Brown??

November 03 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You didn't vote on this, it was smoke and whistles. The very idea that people think they were going to pass this law as the government steps up measures to get rid of alcohol and cigarettes is ridiculous. The "Thanks for not smoking" is a polite way of saying you can't smoke here or there or anywhere! And drinking is... Can't drive and drink, can't drink in public, can't be intoxicated in public, can't have an open container, can't drink at work, we'll firer you for drinking, we'll test you for drinking, we'll sue you for drinking. These are federal mandates and only by changing federal law will you change marijuana laws. Nope this was about getting the democratic vote out, the liberals, the Boxer win. The dems aren't ever actually gonna let you smoke, hell they killed cigarettes and alcohol! Don't even think about marijuana!

November 03 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isay we should have marijuana legal because it would help everyone that has a drug problem focus more on marijuana which is less harmless to others. Marijuana helps take your mind off of things and helps u release pain in your life and it also makes u feel relaxed. Marijuana is something that helps put people in places that set's their mine free.

November 03 2010 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is whats up with the, "what when where and why." Can you grow a tobacco leaf on your kitchen window pain? No. How hard and expensive is it to make your own alcohol? It would be a lot easier to get it at the store. So there you have it. Taxes, taxes taxes. The proposition said they would be allowed to tax marijuana if this initiative passed but the problem lies in the fact that mary jane is a weed and since its is so easily reproduced at home all the politicians know the taxation of it wont go as planned. No one would buy it. They would grow it. The tobacco industry would loose sales because people would smoke pot and not feel so anxious to need tobacco. The alcohol industry wold lose sales because there are many who would rather use pot than get drunk. And the biggest reason it didn't pas is because good old uncle sam would lose tax money that they so desperately need to exploit more of out of all our back pockets so Halliburton can go build a natural gas pipe for the middle eastern people who don't want them there. Don't you think they have their own contractors for that? If you really want it that bad to get over issues you think this will help pretty much anyone can get a medical card in Cali. Even though I think it should of passed it wont until they require that you only smoke the manufactured stuff. And their reasons will be because home brews will be alternative avenues for people to lace it with other illegal drugs of choice so when they get caught they can say they didn't know it was in the weed. It might pass eventually but it will only be available to you through a manufactured brand. Are they hiring?

November 03 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

give it time, its not ready an its not like it isnt damn near legal here already. most officers look the other way on it already an why do you want big business to come into the pot game anyway? in due time better laws will be written an it will pass!

November 03 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I dont use drugs but, How is it i can get a proscriptions for drugs that are legal that list side effect that would kill a horse ??? But a weed that grows natrully that has no side effects is illigal? just curious.

November 03 2010 at 11:52 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Laura Tierney

I hate that my son smoke pot, however, I would rather him do that than drink and go out and kill an innocent family or anyone on the roads. I think it should be legal, however it still will not matter in the work place, because you would still be a liablilty to your employers insurance company and your employer will not pay the higher premiums just so you can smoke pot. If legalized, it can be taxed and make A LOT of money for the state and the country just like the tax on cigarettes.

November 03 2010 at 11:51 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


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