Prop 19 Falls in California

marijuana jointCalifornians have rejected a proposition to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state, with the “No” votes edging the “Yes” votes, 53.8 percent against 46.2 percent.

The Regulate, Control, & Tax Cannabis Act, or Prop 19 in the California midterm elections ballot, would have allowed people 21 years old and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and use this in a non-public place. A “Yes” vote for Prop 19 would also have made California the first US state to allow recreational use of cannabis.

Supporters of Prop 19 said passing the measure would lead to savings for the California government due to reduction of expenses in enforcing anti-marijuana regulations, among others. However, opposition to the Act said approving the proposition would result in a rise in cannabis addiction, marijuana-related accidents, and additional expenses for the state due to higher emergency room admissions.

White House anti-drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said the rejection of Prop 19 shows that voters know the ill effects of legalizing non-medical use of marijuana. “Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California’s budget crisis, or reduce drug-related violence in Mexico.”