Proposition 19, the ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults was rejected by Californians 54 percent to 46 percent last week. Proponents for legalized marijuana are already working on a new version of the initiative for the 2012 ballot in the state.
Legalization advocates say they have never felt more encouraged in their cause. They say that the latest election brought the issue into the mainstream where it received serious debate. Polls have shown that Californians favor legalization 49 percent to 41 percent. Ten percent of voters are undecided. Proponents for legalization say that they will be focusing their efforts on drafting a new ballot initiative that voters will support.
One aspect that might be dropped from the next ballot initiative will be a provision that was meant to protect employees who smoked marijuana legally on their own time from being discriminated against at their place of employment.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 50 percent of Californians believe that employers should be able to fire workers who test positive for marijuana use on an employer-issued drug test.
Opponents of Proposition 19 claimed that the law might lead to stoned workers and dangerous work environments. Whether or not this is an unfounded fear, the authors of the next initiative might drop the employment law question all together.
Pot legalization advocates are undeterred by the defeat of Prop. 19 (Los Angeles Times)