California’s marijuana-legalization initiative has captured worldwide attention, but it is trailing in the polls. The pro-legalization campaign said its volunteers had made more than 188,500 calls to voters and hoped to hook 125,000 “Yes on 19” door-hangers on the homes of likely supporters, says the Los Angeles Times. The campaign’s message was, win or lose, the initiative has stimulated widespread debate and shown that the nation’s ban on marijuana is destined to fall.
“Millions of people will vote for Proposition 19,” said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We will never go back to a time when marijuana reform was outside the realm of thinkable thought.” Proponents said the state’s drug laws fail to curb use, waste police resources. and create violent black markets, and should be replaced with a system to control sales and bring in new tax revenue. Opponents said the initiative was riddled with flaws and would lead to more teenagers trying pot and more buzzed Californians on the roads and in the workplace. The opposition campaign was running largely on autopilot, relying on radio ads. Consultants who have run the campaign were still doing numerous interviews with media outlets. The Proposition 19 campaign, fueled by major donations in the last two weeks, was running ads on television, radio, Facebook, and Google, as well as the Los Angeles Times.