A couple of years ago, it had become very trendy among liberals to say that illegal drugs should be legalized for general use by the American people. A Washington Post editorial said, "It's Time to Legalize Drugs." California became the first of 14 states to legalize the use of marijuana with a physician's recommendation. California's legalization of medical marijuana produced a mix of very different local rules. In some areas of California, medical marijuana dispensaries are as common as convenience stores, while in other parts of the state it's hard to find a source to fill a physician's prescription for medical marijuana. The number of marijuana shops in Los Angeles climbed to 400, at which time the city government limited the allowed number of shops to 70. These shops operate under such names as "Kind for Cures," with a store window that features a big green cross and signs that say "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke" and "Open 7 Days."
Last year, California pot smokers figured it was time to go all the way; they put an initiative on the ballot on November 2nd, Proposition 19, that would have made California the first state to legalize marijuana for everybody, not just those who buy it for medical reasons.
But a funny thing happened on the way to California's big smokeout. The voters unexpectedly defeated Prop 19 on November 2nd. Perhaps this defeat of marijuana legalization was helped by the news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that 1 in 5 automobile drivers who were killed last year in car crashes tested positive for drugs. Since California is a trend-setter for new policies adopted by other states, the legalization movement may have been brought to a halt, and that would be one more good result of last November's election.
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