Some Observers Believe Marijuana Initiative Won’t Pass

California — Local political pundits say the chances that a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana will be successful appear to be – at best – hazy.

There is still seven months of campaigning ahead, but the experts say they find it difficult to believe it could succeed in November’s mid-term elections.

“I think most of the analysis on the medical marijuana initiative was it would not stand a chance, (but) this is going to be very hard to predict,” said Doug Johnson, a research fellow with Claremont McKenna College’s Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Johnson said the state’s approval of Proposition 215 legalizing medical marijuana in 1996 “definitely surprised me. Few people gave it much of a chance. It surprised a lot of people. And I think as a result of that past surprise, a lot more attention is being paid to this.”

Johnson said he expects “there will be lots of international and national attention as the initiative gets close (to November).”

Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said some polls show the marijuana initiative has some support.

“But I wouldn’t bet the rent that it’s going to pass,” Pitney said. “Law enforcement will come out against it very strongly. We’ll see a lot of messages tying marijuana use to the use of harder drugs. And even though … it limits it to people over 21, the opponents will point out it will be very easy for younger people to get their hands on it.”

In fact, Pitney thinks the anti-pot vote will be substantial. He cited the fact that in mid-term elections, the majority of voters are older and more conservative.

“A lot of gray hairs are going to be entering the voting booth in November,” he said.

For Johnson, the vote on the marijuana measure will have an interesting aspect with current Attorney General Jerry Brown on the ballot running for governor.

Brown, as governor, signed legislation lessening the penalty for marijuana possession and has said he opposes this year’s measure.

“It will be very interesting to have this on the ballot with Jerry Brown,” Johnson said.

“And actually that may add support to Brown as marijuana supporters come out. But he will be put in a bad spot.
History may lead him to take one position but as the state attorney general I’m interested to see what he does.”
Pitney said he didn’t think that baby boomers, who grew up with the 1960s music festival Woodstock and its celebration of drug culture, would vote for the initiative.

“I’m one of them,” Pitney said. “However, I think a lot of us have come to have very different attitudes having families. There’s nothing like having children to turn you into an anti-drug crusader.”

Pitney said he did not know how much of an effect money would have in the ballot initiative.

“It’s hard to know in advance. Probably not as much as you’d get in other initiative campaigns. The person behind it, Richard Lee, I don’t know how much money he has to spend,” he said.

Pitney said fundraising will be a problem given the stigma tied to such contributions.

“But if it’s a close vote, it might go down,” he said, “because people with the greatest interest will be too stoned to vote.”

– Article from Contra Costa Times.



  1. Dude on

    For the rest of the world who will have their eyes on this vote, it will pass.

    For the rest of the states of this country, it will pass.

    In response to the historic and prolonged civil rights abuse by the legal systems around the world, it will pass.

    California will pass this one and if the world follows……ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. A sigh of relief.

    Stoners, put it on your calendars.

    Growers, sacrafice your state for the good of humankind.

  2. Anonymous on


  3. Lev on

    That is a great way of putting it. I’m not even a baby boomer, but I totally sympathize. Nixon and Reagan (not to mention almost every other republican) are both a couple of bullshit politicians who preached a lot of nonsense about marijuana, and now that their asses are out of office, we should feel proud to give them one big last.. “fuuuuuuuuucccccccckkkkkk yoooooooooooooooooooou” (like in SLC punk).

    Or if South Park is more your thing; give them more of a: “whaaaatevvvaa! I do what I want!!!”

  4. Lev on

    I am totally with you on this one – I think it would be an excellent idea to have all the shops related to Cannabis to close during election day not only as a protest against the current law, but as a means to remind stoners – you need to act if you want to win.

    And it’s true – I read the same thing about the Dutch coffeeshops doing this for their election day, and if Californians did the same thing it would surely resonate solidarity.

  5. UncleBob100 on

    In the end it appears that the USA is going to have an even bigger problem than legalization. With all the banker buyouts past and more coming this year…America is headed for economic collapse. That gov’t embracing Hemp and all its wonderful uses would probably be too much of a stretch for them to even consider.

  6. Anonymous on


    The price of weed now a days is absolutely a ripoff.

    There is NO other grain/herb that is anywhere near as expensive as marijuana and the only reason for this is the fact its illegal.

    I Look forward to this bill passing and being able to pay a fair price for my herb of choice.

    I feel no guilt about putting the dealers and ripoff artists out of business, its just like any other business..wanna to compete? Help the consumer not yourself.

    and the tax money from legal marijuana buys will skyrocket the economy btw. 🙂

  7. Anonymous on

    For all those Baby Boomers who are on the fence, I have a new way of looking at this:

    Don’t think of it as legalizing a drug. Think of it as one last middle finger to Richard Nixon.

  8. Zachary on

    Too stoned to vote??? Mostly grayhairs voting? WHOEVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE IS STUPID. CONTRA COSTA TIMES???? I’ve never even heard of this newspaper, and I live in California. Look, tax and regulate 2010 already has 55,000 fans on facebook……….just think about that. Thats almost unheard of in facebook world. Its going to pass, and I’ll tell you why. Because our government needs the MONEY!!!! Yep, because the whole country is broke, especially California. When cannabis was made illegal back in early 20th century in California, probably a few thousand people used it, now fast forward a hundred years, and now almost everbody in California has used pot before. Its our biggest cash crop in California. Trust us Californians, will make it happen. I think every stoner in an other state is probably threatening to kick all the stoners asses in Cali if we don’t make this happen, haha.

  9. Anonymous on

    Vote no on this bill! It has to much restrictions and will only hurt california’s economy. Prices will drop and the people of northern california will be in poverty if this passes.

  10. Castklearr on

    Lie’s established to create a lieing society have long been in place. Lets name them. Children eventually have to sort this stuff out and afterwards you learn to lie the lie with the adults.

    Easter bunny rabbits with chicken eggs????

    Santa claus…..?????

    Tooth fairey….????

    Jesus saves your ass?????

    God exist?????

    Allah exist???

    Virgins in heaven exist???

    20,000 Jewish male virgins are first to go in the Christian Rapture?????

    Marijuana is bad??????

    Families are good even though 80% of all violence happens at home?????

    “America the beauitiful” the biggest lie!

  11. Anonymous on

    …and vote!!! I think that may have happened here* the last time we tried it.(*Colorado a couple of years ago)

  12. Anonymous on

    I completely agree. What Anti-drug crusaders fail to realize is that the prohibition of Marijuana puts the sale of said drug into the hands of organized criminals who in turn make the decisions on who can buy. I would much rather have the sale of marijuana put in the hands of well established government regulators, who would make sure that those who sell marijuana sell it in accordance with strict age requirements. Similar to the age requirements put on tobacco and alcohol. This solution is far better than the status quo which continues to allow minors to freely purchase Marijuana on the black market, from purely profit motivated dealers who could care less about what their selling or who their selling too as long as they’re making money.

  13. Anonymous on

    Would you like your teen aged child to be arrested and convicted if caught with a bag of weed?
    and sentenced to draconian mandatory sentences arbitrarily handed out at whims of bought politicians or corrupt officials.
    we need to get out and vote in November, because too many young people especially minorities, hispanics and blacks need to understand that this will affect how many of our children will be locked up for having a little grass and their criminal records tarnished for life, do it for your children future, because the laws are being obscenely and disproportionately handed out to minorities who can’t even find jobs anymore, why destroy their lives more?

  14. Anonymous on

    “There’s nothing like having children to turn you into an anti-drug crusader”

    That’s awful funny.

    When I had kids it certainly didn’t turn my mind to mush nor did I start to swallow the propoganda bullshit. A pathetic excuse.

    “the opponents will point out it will be very easy for younger people to get their hands on it.”

    And it isn’t now thanks to prohibition?

    Give you heads a shake

  15. Anonymous on

    “because people with the greatest interest will be too stoned to vote.”

    Shame on us if that’s even remotely true. You have to really take a close look at winners & losers should this initiative pass. The med pot dispensaries should ALL close on election day. Are they really for outright legalization? The coffee shops in Holland are closing on their election day to encourage the cannabis community to support liberal candidates who do not seek to shut them down. How about the hydroponics industry? Grow shops? Head shops? You ALL should close on election day.

  16. Anonymous on

    It doesn’t matter if this vote wins or not……people are still going to smoke cannabis, and the government will continue Empowering criminals. In the end America will be just like Mexico