No Legal Pot in California: Prop 19 Fails

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana for personal use in California, has failed.

The final numbers are not yet in, but with 18% of the vote in, the "no" votes are leading by a wide margin, 57%-43%. Several news outlets are predicting that it will go down in defeat.

"That is a very, very strong indication that Californians have awakened to the problems of legalizing marijuana," Marsha Saben, chairman of the board of Californians for Drug Free Youth said. "I think for too long marijuana has been equated as nothing more than a can of beer in the minds of many people and that was one of the lines from the legalizers who put this proposition on the ballot."

The measure would have madeĀ California the first state in the country to decriminalize marijuana. It would have allowed people 21 and older to grow, possess and use small amounts of pot.

However, it still would have been illegal on the federal level, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government would enforce the law. The failure heads off court battles over whether the feds could have done so.