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Latino support for marijuana legalization is eroding, poll finds. Is Prop. 19 doomed?


Just weeks ago, the prospects for Proposition 19 were looking good, with polls showing a slight majority supporting marijuana legalization in California.

6a00d8341c630a53ef013488024286970c-320wiBut a new Public Policy Institute of California now find the measure in trouble, with support eroding among Latinos. As The Times' John Hoeffel reports, 51% of Latinos now oppose Prop. 19. In September, 63% backed the measure.

Overall, according to the PPIC poll, voters now oppose Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure, 49% to 44%.

How do you feel about Proposition 19? Are you having second thoughts? Share your views below.

Photo: Supporters of Proposition 19, the ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in California, use a brightly painted fire truck to attract attention as they hand out literature at USC. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (41)

Mexicans are being killed NOW that its illegal. Anyone remember prohibition? People died and it was a huge war in the US over alcohol. They legalized it and lo & behold, the war ended.


The cannabis industry as it exists today is a lawless, unregulated, untaxed, underground economy worth billions of dollars. And like illegal immigrants, it's not going away. A vote against Prop 19 is a vote to keep it that way. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes, many prescription drugs, all other illegal drugs, probably soda pop and possibly the state lottery. To suggest that marijuana needs more study is like being a global warming denier.

The fear isn't that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder stuff, but that it's a gateway to hippiedom. That it robs people of their initiative and makes them spacy and apathetic. If conservatives think pot makes liberals apathetic, why aren't they for legalization? Seriously, like any recreational pursuit, whether it be drinking, video games or Facebook, marijuana can be abused. Moderation in all things.

But getting high can also be harmless fun, and any assertion that legalizing marijuana would create problems ignores all the problems created by the existing pot prohibition, which spawns organized crime and turns thousands of otherwise productive and law-abiding citizens who grow, transport, sell or possess pot or pot "paraphernalia" into outlaws. Vote yes on Prop 19!

Where is Cheech when you need him?

@Bill D, your assertion that Mexicans "seeing THOUSANDS of his fellow countrymen killing & being killed" is odd to conflate with legalizing Marijuana. The Mexican drug wars are over ILLEGAL pot, not legalized pot.

It's okay to legalize marijuana. However, sanctions should also be imposed to those using it abusively.

The drug cartels are making money off the drugs sold in the u.s are they not? one way to stop that is by takeing a big chunk out of there pockets by legalizing marijuana and giving that money to american businesss and law enforcment and gangs and so forth people who are gonna smoke are gonna smoke plain and simple. not to metion the tourism will increase and those of you who compare meth and cocaine to pot are way off base when it comes to weed and do u put liquor were ur teen can get it treat marijuana the same way and remeber second hand too YES ON PROP 19

As a young educated American, I fully support proposition 19. As a matter of fact, I view it as nothing less than a struggle between good and evil. Marijuana prohibition supports everything from racism to organized crime, and has very few positives.
Like most ardent supporters, I don't care if the Federal government overrides the measure. If the measure passes, it will be a paradigm shift. The cat will be out of the bag, and the intelligentsia will be forced to take the issue seriously. Once they do, they'll see that most of the facts, science, and ethics are firmly on the side of marijuana legalization.
Even if they defeat the measure, they're on the wrong side of history. They're only post-poning the inevitable.

I would like to know why pot makes people get violent?
smoke pot as a kid but as soon as he started to smoke it he
turned into a SCHIZO also the guys who just raped and burnt
the DRs family didnt smoke pot as kids but as soon as they
started they couldnt stop and even committed strong arm
robbery for it!!! Then dont forget the guys who set that lady
on fire over a pound of weed in California ok they poured gas
on her and set her on fire to get the weed she tried to make it
to help but died on FIRE!!! Do not forget all the home invasions
by pot heads and robberys too what about the ones who kill their
best friends for POT huh? I will never ever believe that POT is
PEACE LOVE AND JOY or what ever they like to say when HIGH
thats what they say when HIGH but when they run out OMG!!!
Watch out ok RUN FOR THE HILLS!!! And no POT should not be
FREE either is ALCOHOL free? IS METH free? Is CRACK free?
NOOOOOOO!!! POT should not be FREE just because they go CRAZY
and do insane CRIMES to get more ok so think 1000 times before
LEGALIZING POT because POT not only smells like SEWAGE but
people who smoke it start to act like they live in a sewer too!

This is too bad... Cannabis should have never been illegal in the first place. Its “illegality” is not based on any science, just on lies, distortions of fact, and blatant racism. The truth is that Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, and that it may also serve as a much “safer alternative” to alcohol and/or hard drugs. Another Cannabis product, hemp, was used by humans since time immemorial! It is fully recognized that Cannabis use SUPPRESSES VIOLENT BEHAVIOR, and that Cannabis may be used to help not only treat, but to also prevent some devastating illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The fact is that Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years exactly because there are so many ways in which this remarkable plant can help us and our planet. So, it is naive to presume that a bunch of fear-mongerers can change this fact, no matter how loud and untruthful they become! I worked in addiction medicine for years, and Cannabis use was the least of my problems, so I do recognize that classifying Cannabis in the same group as heroin and cocaine is one of the greatest scientific fallacies of our times. The so-called “gateway” drug theory was found to be totally invalid, and a very recent large study called this “theory” half-baked. It is simply untrue scientifically.

As Kathleen Parker aptly observed on CNN couple of days ago, “To say that most hard drug addicts start with marijuana is the same as to say that all rapists start with masturbation”. Yeah, that’s about it! Cannabis is not physically addictive, as there is no clearly definable and reproducible physical withdrawal syndrome, observed with alcohol or opiate withdrawal, for example. A recent large study denied any connection between smoking Cannabis and a risk for lung cancer. Quite the opposite, Cannabis use is being found to have some preventative role with such serious conditions as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and according to the latest research, Cannabis may even be an “exit substance” for recovering alcoholics/hard drug/prescription drug abusers. Cannabis criminalization leads to horrendous Civil Rights violations around the country. YES to Cannabis re-Legalization! YES on Cali Prop. 19!

Odd, because Weds. on my commute home on the 405, there was an older green Honda Civic in front of me from the airport area to the Valley with four latinos inside smoking a joint (I could smell it). They even tossed the roach out when they finished. I must say, however, that the driver drove well, kept a safe distance and used his turn signals.

And on a daily basis, latino males will park on the quiet side street next to my house, smoke dope (or have a beer or two) then proceed on their merry way.

Based on my personal observations, this poll must be wrong.

It is not physically addictive. Study after study has shown this. There are some claims that it can be psychologically addictive, like Facebook and watching old re-runs of the Simpsons can be psychologically addictive. I hear people all the time say things about their "step son" or "cousin" and how marijuana ruined their life and they use it as a crutch. I will admit it is being used as a crutch. It is being used as a crutch by you to justify the low-life actions of your loved one. Most likely that person would be the exact same person had they never seen a joint. You'd just be left to blame it on a porn addiction, addiction to gambling, or tic-tacs ... I know kicking the tic-tac habit was a KILLER for me back in '78. Almost didn't survive.

We are destroying families, taking bread winners from homes, putting them in prison, putting the family left behind on welfare, killing people in raids and police actions, and causing untold and undescribable violence in Mexico all to protect us from a plant that CANNOT harm us.

President Nixon's own commissioned report in 1972, the Shafer Report, recommended legalization. We've known the truth for decades. The alcohol industry, timber industry, textile industry, oil industry and pharmaceutical industries do not want it legal because marijuana, and it's non-TCH containing cousin hemp, once legalized, will cut into their bottom lines.

A plant that was used by people for thousands of years, without a single documented death, ever, has been vilified by our government for the profits of corporations. Just look at the facts yourself. Look up the Shafer Report. Look up the study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released in 1993. Look up the facts YOURSELF. Don't let Sheriff Numbnutz who can't imagine not getting to arrest a couple dozen kids and/or minorities a month be your source of information. I WAS that officer. I BELIEVED the lies. I DESTROYED peoples lives.

Marijuana is not the enemy. Prohibition is.

I just feel i gotta give you the true facts about prop 19, I think politicians are all hipocrits and we cant lean on what they promise, also they dont admit their in support of 19 for the fact that their scared of jeopardising their campaing races, but i believe that deep down most of them are in support of 19 and hope it passes helping close part of this damm budget crisis they created, Im all in support of prop 19 and hope it stands. I believe that alcohol is way more dangerous than cannabis, alcohol causes people to be aggressive and loud. Have you ever heard of a violent cannabis user?? NO.... More violence is attributed to alcohol and other substances. Alcohol causes way more accidents and it is been known to cause more health problems As well as Alcohol poisoning deaths. Its time to diminish these cartel wars. Its time to put police where they belong, making a real difference locking up real criminals such as rapist, child molestors, violent serial killers and corrupt officials, not locking up cannabis users and overcrowding our prison system, wasting our tax dollars on nonviolent crimes it is just plain waste and nonsense. Its time for a change law enforcement needs to worry about important issues not misdemeneours. Legalization and taxation should been done along time ago and it would avoided many issues. YES ON 19

This law would definitively help those in Mexico. Im pretty sure they're sick of all the fighting there. I am.

Of course they are going against it, they are supporting the drug cartels in MEXICO! Vote yes to prop 19 and watch their cash flow be diverted to our schools, our police, and watch violence drop here and over their in mexico, vote yes to prop 19 for safe marijuana than that crap they transport in gasoline or oil, or that they lace with their cocaine thats made up of gasoline, concrete powder, and leaves. It's going to pass wether or not they are for it or against it.

The Latino vote is probably eroding due to the recent negative comments made by the Mexican and Columbian presidents. What people need to realize is that these Latin Americans countries economies rely heavily on their drug trade and Marijuana is a huge $$$ asset for them. I tend to think why give them the $$$ when we are in huge deficits ourselves. Its al corrupt financially no matter how you put it but if you are gonna put $$$ in someones pocket why not keep it in California and with the the United States.

LA Times, stop trying to corrode everyone with story after story about prop 19 failing.

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