Prop. 19: Back to the drawing board

From the early exits, it sounds like it’s going down, hard. Something more modest and sensible might have passed. But who would have paid – who might pay, in the future – to put it on the ballot?

Exit polls aren’t encouraging:

Though voters ages 18 to 39 generally support Proposition 19 by slim margins, the measure is trailing among voters 40 and older.

I suspect that a pure legalizing-possession-plus-grow-your-own proposition might have passed, though of course that view is influenced by the fact that such a proposition would embody my preferred policy. While the feds could (and, I think, would) have stepped in to stop massive commercial growing, they couldn’t have stopped home-growing.

But – as usual in California – the question is how to get the money to gather the signatures to get such a thing on the ballot. Any proposal that doesn’t make someone rich has a hard time getting out of the starting gate.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

4 thoughts on “Prop. 19: Back to the drawing board”

  1. "legalizing-possession-plus-grow-your-own proposition" – this is really about making life swell for potheads in the burbs. People in apartments, homeless people – all of them get nothing. And as a guy who fails to grow his own tomatoes (I am raising little boys, hard to pay a lot of attention to tomatoes) – even if I wanted the stuff, I don't know if I would have the consistent attention to get it. So I think you are taking care of a (relative) elite. A better bet is to treat it like booze, we buy it from Gallo Brothers unless we have a vine in the backyard. Most of it comes from Fresno, and Earlimart, and Manteca, from big growers. And the Mexican narco-mafia is cut off. What's not to like?

  2. Well, write it, and I'll sign the petition.

    (my favorite loophole in 19 – it allows 25 square feet of grow area – so make it a 10 story 5×5 area, right?)

  3. 18- to 39-year-olds support it by slim margins? I'm genuinely surprised it's not overwhelming.

  4. Gack, forget prop 19.

    A bunch of the other "Make California Even Harder To Budget" resolutions are ahead in the count, except 25 – simple majority budgeting.

    CA budget is going to get more and more red.

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