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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Alcohol, Marijuana, and Smoking in the Polls

The polls have closed and as you may have gathered from the news there will be some changes in some states and no change in others. There were a lot of initiatives that dealt with smoking, alcohol, and marijuana:

There were a lot of people who thought that marijuana was going to be legalized in California, but, voters thought otherwise. Voters decided 46.3 percent to 53.7 percent, (with 98 percent of precincts reporting) against Prop. 19, which would have made it legal for adults to possess limited quantities of marijuana and let local governments regulate its production and distribution. NORML reported that "46+ percent (some 3.4 million Californians) voting ‘yes’ on Prop. 19 marks the greatest percentage of citizen support ever recorded on a statewide marijuana legalization effort". In Arizona, voters were attempting to start a medical marijuana program (Proposition 203), but, they did not succeed and neither did South Dakota. Oregon was voting on dispensaries and fell short as well: Measure 74 got only 42 percent in "yes" votes.

On the alcohol side of the table there were propositions that would have required alcohol companies to pay for the harm caused by their products. California approved Prop. 26, possibly negating efforts to require the alcohol industry, among others, to pay for the harm caused by their products. Proposition 26 passed by about 54 percent of the votes, 26 was funded overwhelmingly by the alcohol industry, requiring "two-thirds instead of a simple majority to pass state or local "mitigation" fees that recoup some of the damage caused by products". In Washington, Initiative 1105, which would have privatized liquor distribution, removed liquor taxes, and forced retailers to purchase from distributors, was struck down with 63 percent rejecting I-1105.

South Dakota passed Referred Law 12 - with 65 percent of the votes - banning smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos which will go into effect on Nov. 10.

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