Marijuana-Legalizing Proposition 19 Gets Greenlight From California Young Democrats

Legalize it Bill St. Clair.jpg
Bill St. Clair
The young are restless...
Supporters of Proposition 19 -- the Tax Cannabis 2010 legislation -- were bummed this weekend when California's Democratic Party opted to make no endorsement on the measure and stay neutral.

But when it comes to marijuana, the kids are all right. California Young Democrats did what the grown-ups would not, and endorsed the taxation and regulation of pot. The rationale was delightfully simple: 

Essentially, if you're a California Democrat between ages 14 and 35 -- which is the requirement for being a member of Cal Dems -- then you're almost certainly going to be in favor of Prop. 19. And your vote will be needed. 

"The block of voters we represent supported this bill," summarized Cal Dems' communications manager Mike Kim, who proceeded to rattle off any number of regional, racial, and ethnic caucuses who gave the thumbs-up for taxing and regulating marijuana. "This is an issue that reflects our generation and will bring out a lot of people in November."

Peter Tosh.jpg
Hangin' with the Young Dems...
State Democratic Party Chair John Burton, not incidentally, singled out "pot" as the issue that could pull young voters off the couch and into the voting booth.

Even still, the Dems on Sunday opted to stay neutral on Prop. 19 by a 110-85 vote, apparently so as to not embarrass candidates --including would-be lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom and attorney general candidate Kamala Harris -- who have come out against the measure.

"Nobody trashed it. Everyone said it was a good thing and they were going to vote for it," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano told SF Weekly (he voted to endorse, not surprisingly). "But they felt, strategically, because so many candidates came out against it, it would put them on the spot. Everyone was worried about the Whitman phenomena."

The Young Dems, apparently were playing a different set of politics. When it comes to endorsing legalized pot, if it's too touchy, then you're too old.

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