(CBS/AP) The hopes of those who hoped for pot legalization were dashed Tuesday when California voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposal to make recreational pot use legal.
Proposition 19 - the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act" - would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and consume it in private as long as no children were present. It would have also allowed them to grow pot in small gardens or plots.
Prop 19 also would have authorized local governments to permit commercial pot cultivation, as well as the sale of the drug at licensed establishments.
Although the measure was ultimately a no-go, it enjoyed high-profile support, including that of the state branches of the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Former U.S. Attorney General Dr. Jocelyn Elders told CBS News that "as a pediatrician, [her] primary concern is the welfare of young people," and that she's bothered over what she says is the high number of American youth serving time in prison for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.
There does seem to be a large generation gap when it comes to whether one supports legalization. A CBS News exit poll of California voters found high levels of support for the measure primarily among people under 40.
Those in favor of legalization have not given up. "National public sentiment is increasingly turning against the idea that responsible adults should be criminalized for using a substance less harmful than alcohol," said Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project. "We are already looking forward to achieving major victories in 2012."
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