Unfortunately, it seems that "California Dreaming" did NOT become a reality in 2010 like we had hoped. Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that would have legalized, taxed, and regulated cannabis in California lost 46% to 54%. Close, but no cigar (or doobie).
However, this is still closer than any comparable initiative has ever come in history, and the debate it ignited will certainly NOT die anytime soon. The pro-legalization side is now gearing up for 2012, when similar initiatives have a better chance of passing.
The 2010 election was a major disappointment in general. In nearly all states, the Repugnicans won (while the TSAP does not like either major party, we generally feel that, as a rule, the Democrats are the lesser of two evils). California was one of the few exceptions to this trend. But at least some of the leftovers were thrown out, and many of the losing Democrat incumbents were spineless jellyfish anyway.
So why did Prop 19 fail? It was doing great in the polls up until early October, and it seemed like a sure thing, with 52% in favor. But then the Governator took some of the wind out of its sails by signing into law Senate Bill 1449, effective January 1, which decriminalized (not legalized) possession of less than an ounce of ganja to a mere violation, making it a $100 fine with no court appearance or criminal record. It was formerly a misdemeanor, though the fine was the same. Next, the federal Drug Czar and the Attorney General were threatening to vigorously enforce the federal laws against cannabis if it passes, potentially upending the "truce" over medical cannabis since early 2009. Finally, the "No" side geared up and used ridiculous scare tactics in their ads, which unfortunately worked due to voter ignorance as well as vague language in certain parts of the initiative's text. And the two big sugar daddies for the "Yes" campaign (billionaires George Soros and Peter B. Lewis) did not donate anything until a week or two before election day, essentially too late.
One can only hope that things will go differently in 2012, when the demographics will be more favorable. But just don't number it Prop 19 again--it appears to be bad luck, just like it was in 1972. And any unnecessary or vague language in the initiative that appears to be the least bit overreaching should be nixed at once, as it appears to be "one toke over the line," so to speak.
The TSAP is not a "pro-drugs" party. Rather, we are pro-liberty and anti-tyranny. We do not endorse the use of any substances, including alcohol and tobacco, but believe that legal adults are sovereign in body and mind and that prohibition of these substances clearly does more harm than good. Remember, the term "controlled substance" is actually a misnomer since it is virtually impossible to adequately control that which is prohibited.
UPDATE: After much vote tallying for the past ten days, it turned out that Arizona's Proposition 203 narrowly passed as of November 14. This makes Arizona the latest state to legalize medical cannabis.