What Caused Proposition 19 to Fail in California
The last poll before the November 2nd election had Proposition 19 winning by a large margin…now we know that not to be the case. Proposition 19 was defeated 54% to 46%. Not a large margin but a pretty big one considering Prop 19 was ahead 8 points in the last polls. So what happened? What knocked legal marijuana off?
Two major contributors against marijuana were Big Alcohol and pharmaceutical companies. They wanted marijuana off the ballot so that it would not cut into their profits. It’s a shame too, because Nevada medical marijuana clinics would have benefited from an alliance with California growers and distributors.
Campaign finance reports from California reveal that the California Beer and Beverage Distributors, a statewide trade organization, was one of the major backers for the lobby group Public Safety First, who were the main sponsors of “No on Prop 19”. Imagine if doctors who recommend marijuana in Nevada had to face this much opposition to provide their medicine. It would create a free-for-all, which is basically what California has on its hands with their present medical marijuana laws.
Passing Prop 19 would have meant so much to medical marijuana doctors; they were watching the outcome with bated breaths, hoping for the initiative to pass. Medical marijuana doctors wanted to see change come from the west and sweep across their state.
What’s sad is that the beer lobby used awful and untrue tactics to fight Prop 19. They claimed that legal marijuana would lead to stoned bus drivers crashing their vehicles into nunneries, while shirking their responsibilities to live a hippy lifestyle in a yurt. Doctors that recommend marijuana know that all this is a complete fabrication. Their medicine helps people who otherwise would lead tough and possible dangerous lives due to medical conditions.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, concerned about the loss of pharmaceutical company business, aired radio ads warning Californians about stoned bus drivers and stoned nurses. Complete scare tactics at the last minute of the election. Their efforts helped to thwart Prop 19 and ruin the dream for medical marijuana clinics in Nevada. Their lies and gross exaggerations helped to sink the boat before it even set sail. Nevada medical marijuana clinics would have seen so much hope if Prop 19 had passed, but thanks to the efforts of Big Alcohol and Big Pharma, our bodies are safe from natural medicine again.
And honestly, these companies are trying to protect their profits. Big Alcohol sees marijuana as a competitive, enjoyable drug that is cheap. Big Pharma sees medical marijuana as a threat to their thriving pill industry, if you can find a problem then you can find a pill to fix it, but medical marijuana is different. If Proposition 19 would have passed, both of these huge industries would have taken a hit. And that is not going to happen in America, where big business thrives and the will of the people is squashed before it has a chance.