Proposition 19 Reporters' Notebook: No On Prop 19 Campaign Declares Victory, Yes Cheers "Yes We Cannabis"
A running live stream of text and photo updates as Neon Tommy reporters cover the fate of California's Proposition 19 on Election Day. The measure would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.
9:10 p.m. Tuesday
Revelers are enjoying marijuana all over the party, complemented with a full buffet and bar. The only place where smoking is off limits? The media room.
9:00 p.m. Tuesday
"Yes on Prop 19" spokeswoman says it was very important to host a campaign party in L.A., since so many Angelenos have been dedicated to the measure. "No on Prop 19" is holding their only party in Sacramento.
8:50 p.m. Tuesday
Yes on Prop 19 spokeswoman says the word on the street is young people showed up to the polls later in the evening, and three polling places ran out of ballots, indicating that voters are coming out in support of Prop 19.
Party revelers are chanting "Yes we Cannabis!"
8 p.m. Tuesday
Those at the Yes on 19 party in West Hollywood are eagerly awaiting the results from the recently closed polls. Spontaneous "Yes we Cannabis" chants erupt and Bob Marley music plays intermittently.
5 p.m. Tuesday
Prop 19 backers expect voters under 40 to come out with the sole purpose of casting a ballot in favor of the measure, the L.A. Times reported. The Prop 19 supporters cited the most recent L.A. Times/USC poll, which showed that as many as 48% of young voters approve of the bill to legalize marijuana. As of now, no polls in California are reporting results.
1:24 p.m. Tuesday
LA Weekly reports that the No On Prop. 19 campaign is declaring victory: "Support for Prop 19 is evaporating faster than bong water at Burning Man," said spokesman Roger Salazar. "Californians have discovered that the claims of benefits made by proponents just aren't true. Prop 19 cannot guarantee 'billions' in revenue to the state; it would make the job of law enforcement more difficult, not less; and recent studies show the initiative would have little impact on drug cartels. No matter where Californians stand on pot legalization, this is not the initiative they were looking for."
10:40 p.m. Monday
As the clock winds down on campaign time, Proposition 19 activists remain hopeful the voting will swing in their favor.
The mood in pro-legalization headquarters throughout California was zealous. The L.A. Times reported Monday that staffers made nearly 200,000 calls and planned to distribute 125,000 “Yes on Prop 19” door-hangers. Campaigners say they’re targeting young voters and college students, along with members of the Libertarian and Green parties.
There has been much speculation about whether the measure will bring “stealth voters” (people who publicly decry Prop 19 but will secretly vote to pass it) to the polls. Though members of the GOP-affiliated Tea Party haven’t taken an official position, many believe they will turn out in support of the proposition.
Prop 19 backers sure hope that’s the case, since the most recent Field Poll indicated a somewhat dramatic decline in support for the measure. Most notably, support among Democrats dropped from 60 percent to 51 percent.
In the meantime, campaign staffers and volunteers will be working ‘round the clock in the final hours to ensure they reach as many potential voters as possible.
9:00 p.m. Monday
It was difficult to hear Evan Nison over the noise in the background.
“Sorry,” he said. “It’s really noisy in the office today.”
That’s no surprise for Nison, the Campus Coordinator of the ‘Yes on Prop 19’ campaign, which aims to legalize the use of marijuana in California. Monday, of course, represents the feverish lead-in for Tuesday’s Election Day; the day that the measure Nison and his coworkers have so diligently worked to pass, will see its victory or demise.
The noise and chaos in the office reflects the campaigns’ final-hours-effort to persuade “yes” votes.
With a focus on over 40 college campuses throughout California, Nison and others set up tables, knocked on dorm room doors, held up signs on busy campus walkways and provided students’ with information on where their polling places are located. However, a rally near the University of California, Berkeley on Tuesday attracted few.
In addition, uncountable phone calls were made and more than 100,000 door hangers were placed on doors in targeted California residential areas.