The Failure of California's Proposition 19

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Cannabis, also known as Marijuana, has been used by humans throughout history for medical, recreational, as well as spiritual purposes. Its fiber, oil, and seed are also refined into products such as hemp oil, wax, rope, cloth, and paper (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2013, para. 1). With 56% voters overwhelming supported for medical cannabis, California became the first state in the United States to pass Prop 215 in 1996 ensuring the patients and their primary caregivers to “have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purpose” (California Department of Public Health, 2013, Text of Law section, para. 1). Right after the U.S. Department of Justice announced in March 2009 that it would no longer prosecute marijuana patients and providers whose actions are consistent with state medical marijuana laws (Meyer & Glover, 2009, para. 1), political windows suddenly opened for California marijuana reform advocates to push for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. As a result, California Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act, became a ballot initiative on November 2, 2010 statewide ballot. Supporters argued that legalizing creational use of marijuana would help California to regulate the use and sale of marijuana, reduce correctional costs, redirect its court and law enforcement resources to other more serious crimes, and collect additional exercise taxes and sales taxes that would help with California’s budget shortfall. In spite of being a

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