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Schwarzenegger: Proposition 19 was 'written badly' and not necessary

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that he suspects Californians voted against legalizing recreational use of marijuana in the Nov. 2 election because a law he signed this year has all but decriminalized smoking pot.

The new law, SB 1449, signed by the governor last month, changes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in California from a misdemeanor to an infraction, which Schwarzenegger said is like “a speeding ticket.”

“No one cares if you smoke a joint or not,” he said on an appearance of NBC’s "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

He added: “This Proposition 19 went a little bit too far, I think, and it was written badly.”

Voters defeated the ballot measure last week, 46% to 54%.

-- Evan Halper in Sacramento

Comments () | Archives (19)

So basically what happened here is the governor said go ahead and smoke a joint. The difference is that 19 would have garnered taxes for the state. I don't get it. Wouldn't the taxes have helped?

The only reason it was defeated because of the MJ growers and dispesaries..If you could have your own personal grow than you dont need to buy it thus hurting the already established MJ community..The state lost out not being able to enforce taxing now..

Great job California!! I wish Texas would pass a law like this. Next, legalize it, tax it, make it a revenue creating tool, like alcohol (which is WAY worse) or tobacco.

Thank You Arnold!!

It's already an infraction "like a speeding ticket." "no one cares if you smoke a joint or not." Ok, what does this tell us? Apparently most of us, including the highest elected member of our state government, don't consider cannabis a great threat. So why is there no push for federal legalization? Why do we still have a double standard with alcohol? Let's do this right. Let's demonize alcohol and shift our endorsement of recreational intoxicants to cannabis. Then let's call for federal legalization.

I would say that about half of Californians care according to the voting results. The people that I know (myself included) don't care if the bill was written badly or not. They (and I) don't like pot, just like we don't like cigarettes.

“No one cares if you smoke a joint or not?”

Evidently, 4,339,838 cared enough to vote "NO" on "19"...

Shezzz...Liberals..what a wasted SEVEN YEARS with this clown in the governor's office!!!

And now we've got four years of a Liberal Retread to look forward to...Heck, between the Liberal Lewzers in the legistlature & Moonbeam in the governor's office, we may not even have a state of CA left in four years!!!


Agreed. How else can we control the prices if they are legal? Let the tobacco companies do it if it was legalized? Those crooks ?

Prop 19 was a good idea but left up to counties to decide their own fates would've led to disaster. It needs to be a blanket solution. Prop 215 is working. Since 1996, has the state gone to pot? have cars crashed because of it? are all of our kids pot heads? are the anti-potters screaming bloody murder?

All's quiet on the western fronts.

here's the video of the Governator talking to Leno about marijuana last night:

Well he just made it obvious that this was a stunt to make voters think no further action was required. But what logic is there is making it still technically against the law, if they admit to not caring. They don't care that is a multi-billion underground industry that they only perpetuate by keeping the penalty low, but the profits firmly in the grasp of unregulated growers and dealers.

Finally a Republican that does something Republicans say they agree with, personal liberty.

It seems all the others are too busy trying to legislate morality.

Um, I think it's pretty obvious that Californians overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana. A badly written prop, in a midterm election, not supported by many in the medical marijuana community, only $4million in funding, and only 4percent off. And it still got more votes than Meg Whitman! Californians are obviously chomping at the bit to legalize.

So speeding is OK, as long as you don't get caught.

Running Red Lights too.

Not stopping for pedestrians in cross walks.


Basically, anything that is an infraction in CA is De Facto Legal, "Because Governor Schwarzenegger said it was OK to do as long as you don't get caught, but if you do, it's a simple stupidity tax."


Once again the LAW is disrespected. Marijuana is a gateway to crime, not other drugs.

Not necessary? No, what's not necessary is going on the Tonight Show.

Cannabis should never have been made illegal in the first place. Giving people a ticket is not the same as allowing them to freely smoke in the privacy of their own homes as they should be allowed to. California should be more concerned with getting money from taxes... not tickets.

"Prop 19 was a good idea but left up to counties to decide their own fates would've led to disaster. It needs to be a blanket solution. Prop 215 is working. Since 1996, has the state gone to pot? have cars crashed because of it? are all of our kids pot heads? are the anti-potters screaming bloody murder?"

Your claim that Prop 19 should have included 'blanket' commercial rules across the state has not considered how quickly the courts would have tossed the law out, just like Prop 8. What would be the point of writing the ballot initiative and squandering the resources on something that is a guaranteed failure? I have no clue why anyone would want a centralized regulatory scheme anyway.

Let's not forget to mention that highway safety in California has improved dramatically since Prop 215 passed into law. We can say with certainty that had it risen even a little bit, that the Know Nothings would blame cannabis for any decrease in highway safety . Using that 'logic' the cannabis community should be getting credited for the improvement in highway safety.

Another interesting factoid is that use of cannabis in the underaged cohort has declined since 1996. I'll point out that youth use has declined nationally in that time frame, but California's numbers fell more when listed side by side with the other states.

Our esteemed governor fails to note that while (apparently) no one cares if you smoke a joint in California, you can still go to prison for selling one. This leaves California in an extremely awkward position: marijuana is semi-legal to possess, but not legal to grow or sell.

What sense does it make to tell people that they are allowed to possess something if their only means of obtaining it is through the black market? The only logical outcome of such a law is to strengthen the existing black market. Let's just legalize it already.

i agree w/Arnie in that the law was written badly. It should have been plain and simple about repealing marijuana prohibition, (not a tax and regulate bill). It should have stated "All laws imposing criminal ar civil penalties with the regard to marijuana are hereby repealed."

So lets see.....
Prop 187 (over turned, because we want illegals here)
Props 1A-1F (no taxes increases, but we'll call it a fee)
Props 8 (Don't really care)
and now Prop 19 (possible repeal)

Let the voters vote, but if it's not what we want, the we'll just over turn it. Maybe I'll call and request the over turning of Prop 23, which is a job killer, but of course then that would be considered a violation of the voters right to vote.

This has nothing to do with reducing crime, deficits, jobs. People wanted Prop 19 to pass so they can get high, without hiding the joint from the police. It's all about getting high.

If they want to start making comparisons to Alcohol, and Tobacco products, then lets get rid of them all. That will cut down crime and reduce DUI’s


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