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Prop. 19: Medical marijuana patients say they were skeptical about Prop. 19 campaign [updated]

November 3, 2010 | 12:39 pm

Zach Taylor, a patient at the Farmacy, a marijuana dispensary with branches in West Hollywood and other locations, said he was not surprised that voters rejected Proposition 19.

"There was so much opposition," Taylor, a hairdresser, said of the measure to legalize pot. "All of California is not so lenient as we are here."

Taylor said he voted for the initiative but believed some of the arguments against it were legitimate -- especially the concern over drugged drivers. Proposition 19 failed, 54% to 46%, in Tuesday's election. But Taylor said he expects another ballot measure to appear soon.

"It will just take time," he said. "All things take time."

JoAnna LaForce, clinical director at the Farmacy, which has about 8,000 members, said she did not consider Proposition 19 a failure.

"Having it on the ballot and having several million people vote for change is a symbolic message," said LaForce, who voted for the measure.

Other patients said they were still uncertain about legalizing recreational pot.

"The problem is I feel uninformed about the whole deal," said one patient, who did not give his name. "I'm for legalization in general, but I'm not sure what the repercussions are. I think the government has a chess move in its pocket."

[Updated, 4 p.m.: James Shaw, director of the Arts District Healing Center in downtown Los Angeles, said he voted against Proposition 19 because he considered it a threat to medicinal marijuana users.

"The way it was written did not ensure protection of medical marijuana laws," said Shaw, who is also director of the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, a statewide group.

He said the initiative would have helped big business by creating a for- profit marijuana market.

"We're about safe access to medicine," Shaw said. "This should remain a mom-and-pop business. It should stay low key."

Shaw said his center is one of the oldest dispensaries in Los Angeles and has about 1,000 members.]


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--Sam Allen